Engineering Change Control Story

In the PLM blog I posted last week, I discussed engineering change control.

A Real Story…

I did some consulting for a high tech company in Silicon Valley a number of years ago.  They had several problems that they wanted to solve.

They wanted to manage their engineering files in a vault.  Some of the features that were of interest included:  Quickly find files by searching for attributes; Control who could check-in/check-out files; Control which files could be viewed and by whom; Help them go through audits.

They wanted to streamline their engineering change process.  They had an engineering services group [6 people] that handled all of their engineering change process.  Engineers would send an Email identifying what they wanted to change.  The engineering services group would take it from there.  They would enter the reason for the change, get it approved, find documents, get part numbers, etc.  They would manually move the ECR/ECO through its entire process.

The Solution…

They selected a PLM solution.  The software provided all of the vault features they were looking for and it allowed them to move the engineering change request process to the engineer.

What all this means…

Several of the engineering services people were redeployed to other jobs within the company and those that were left were assigned different tasks.

Engineers can now quickly find information through a computer search.

Change requests used to take over 30 days to get approved and after the implementation, they can be approved within a week – emergencies within an hour.

CCB [change control board] meetings have been eliminated.

They were extremely happy with their results.

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