Prototype Build and Test; Final Design and Pilot Production
In Chapter 8, we discussed the design portion of the design-build-test process (the left-hand portion of Figure 8-1, repeated as Figure 9-1). In this chapter, we will discuss the build and test portion of the technical development process (the shaded right-hand portion of Figure 9-1). In our discussions, we will be referring to Chapter 8 frequently, since the technical development process is an iterative process that cannot cleanly be divided into two halves.
Upon completion of the design review, which is the last step in the design phase, our first act in the build and test phase is to build or order the parts. We will expedite the building or ordering of parts by having either an internal prototype manufacturing capability or by having preselected suppliers make the parts. Having the normal purchasing organization procure the parts using their business-as-usual three-bid process, which takes upward of twelve weeks, is false economy. Moving the purchasing function into the product development team will cut the procurement time by at least one-half. To minimize development time, the development team should directly control the making and buying of parts and should not be dependent on outside functions.
Checking Parts against Drawings . The first level of testing is the checking of parts. The critical dimensions of these parts are checked against the drawings prior to starting the build of the prototype subsystems.