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