Testing and refining

What is design validation?

Design validation is concerned with testing, approving, and controlling design quality. Depending on the design phase, research + DESIGN treats design validation as either a cyclical or final phase in the development process.

  1. Existing methodology:
    Existing methodologies are available to inform validation, which can be selected based on design application, complexity, or risk.
  2. Guidelines, standards, directives:
    Guidelines, standards and directives which were used to inform a design phase are again referenced and tested for conformity.
  3. Maturity gates:
    Maturity gates specify points at which a design decision cannot be reversed, and what subsequent design decisions need to conform to.
  4. Second sourcing:
    First and second sourced components for Off The Shelf (OTS) and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) require testing.
  5. Revision control:
    Design iterations are marked with a revision and date of release identifier to assist in Root Cause Analysis (RCA).
  6. Testing house:
    Accredited and industry recognised testing houses are used to ensure test results are compliant with governing bodies.
  7. Test sample:
    Each test sample is marked as such and, even if tested to destruction, is retained for future reference.
  8. Jig and test equipment:
    Jig and test equipment follow test criteria and, where possible, iterative testing should use the same devices.
  9. Failure criteria:
    In some instances, test criteria is not a simple pass or fail, but rather a culmination of results that indicate acceptance or rejection.
  10. Abuse criteria:
    A clear distinction between design durability and abuse helps ascertain Factors of Safety (FoS) and test criteria.
  11. Supplier audits:
    Design success is based on supplier performance, whose infrastructure and capabilities require a prior audit to mitigate risk.
  12. Quality control:
    A management process assists in scaling a design phase and maintaining quality assurances over an extended period.
  13. Failure rates:
    An acceptable percentage of failure, be it scrap or waste, is incorporated into a quality control process.
  14. Reporting mechanism:
    Clear lines of reporting between user, client, and design teams help manage in-field failures and repairs.
  15. Design changes:
    Following a design update, certain tests and specifications may need to be repeated to ascertain impact.
  16. Maintenance strategy:
    All design phases require a long-term maintenance strategy in order to remain compliant with standards and directives.