1997-06-03

Accelerated Quality Maturity of Engineered Systems 972225

The concept of accelerated quality maturity was implemented by Boeing for improvement of the quality and reliability of the avionics items of the 777 airplane and to minimize the potential occurrence of in-service avionics failures. Acceleration of the quality maturity process was recognized as an essential consideration in providing avionic system designs that would adequately support the commitment for initial service-readiness of the airplane.
Several innovative approaches were investigated as potential means to improve the initial quality maturity of avionics produced by Boeing Defense and Space Group Commercial Avionics Systems (CAS) for the 777 airplane. One of the methods assessed involves exposure of avionics items to high levels of thermal and vibration environmental stress testing to detect latent defects. Boeing interviewed several other industrial manufacturing companies that had successfully used adaptations of this approach for similar product quality improvement objectives. A variant of this method was implemented with electrical power parameter variation included in the procedures. A modest pilot program was used to develop and verify processes and procedures.
All of the major avionics items produced by Boeing internally for the 777 airplane were tested using this approach. Significant improvements in product quality maturity were implemented as a result of this effort.
This paper is a report of the initial pilot program and the transfer of lessons learned for subsequent applications.

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