Integral Logistics Management — Operations Management and Supply Chain Management Within and Across Companies

17.5.4 Object Classes and Functions for Release and Engineering Change Control

Intended learning outcomes: Produce an overview on the engineering change number. Identify the object classes for release and engineering change control (ECC).

The EC number, or engineering change number, is a standard concept in release and engineering change control (ECC). This is a unique and ascen­ding number assigned to every modification or redesign project.

In principle, a new object is defined for every item belonging to a certain release. This new object has the same item ID but is suffixed with a new EC number.[note 1708] A new item should be defined as soon as the function’s forward compatibility can no longer be guaranteed. This means that the new item cannot replace the old item in every situation. On the other hand, backward compatibility is not required, that is, it does not have to be possible to install the old item in place of the new item.

The following object classes could be used for administrative checking by the project manager for release and engineering change control (ECC):

  • Project header, with attributes such as description of the release, EC number, status and other data for staggered release, in each case indicating the person responsible.
  • Project operation, defining one of the various stages and works required for release, with attributes such as the EC number, position, description, status, start date, and end date, in each case indicating the person responsible.
  • Project bill-of-material position, specifying all the items belonging to the release, in each case with the status, date, and personnel responsible for release of the item; as well as its drawing, bill of material, and routing sheet. There are different pairs of “date / person responsible” attributes for different release stages.

The following functional model could be used for release control:

Firstly, definition of a new version, that is, of a new release or EC (engineering change):

  • Enter in the project header the date and person responsible.
  • Enter the items belonging to the release, each with date and person responsible for the various tasks, for example, creating or modifying drawings, bill of material, routing sheet, and item as a whole.
  • Enter the various tasks involved in the release, each with start date, end date, and person responsible.

Secondly, progress and release:

  • Enter the progress (with status changes) and the end of indi­vidual activities, plus correction of the status at a higher level.
  • Allow for (staggered) release of bills of material, routing sheets, items or entire rele­ase (of the new version), with automatic correction of the higher-level activity list.

Thirdly, queries, for example, sort work in process by person responsible or various statuses, monitor deadlines, and indicate the content of a release (of the associated items and activities).

The data could be transferred from and to the IT-supported technologies; for example, for linking CAD and PPC software via the engineering database, using the following functions:

  • Transfer bills of material and any variants online, either from the CAD to the engineering database by a “drawing re­lease” process or from the engineering database to the PPC software by a “production release” process (or, in both cases in the opposite direction by a revision process).
  • Transfer all: Transfer any data that has not yet been transferred.
  • Similar functions for the item master data, often in the opposite direction — from the PPC software via the engineering database to the CAD system. One example would be the transfer of all item descriptions modified after a certain date, but which have not yet been transferred to the engineering database or other CAx systems.
  • Transfer order data from the PPC software to the CAD system: Transfer the item and order ID, optionally with lists of parameter values (see Section 17.3.3), as a request to create a drawing.

Course section 17.5: Subsections and their intended learning outcomes