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ERAI Blog

The Standards Development Process

Anne-Liese Heinichen
ERAI Inc.

As many of you know, ERAI staff is involved in the industry standards development process, specifically through SAE International. As a whole, SAE standards are developed to “ensure the safety, quality, and effectiveness of products and services”i. While many of these standards tend to focus on aerospace, automotive, defense and other critical sectors, most are drafted to encompass general processes throughout multiple industries on an international level. Many are designed with a specific focus on an activity (e.g. distribution, manufacturing, integration) and material (e.g. EEE parts, counterfeit part mitigation).

Once the need for a standard is identified or a standard requires revisions, a committee is tasked with the creation or review. Committee members are generally comprised of individuals knowledgeable in a respective field who volunteer to draft language and provide suggested changes and comments on existing text for revisions to existing standards. These committee members represent different entities from government agencies (domestic and foreign), prime contractors, contract manufacturers, distributors (both authorized and independent), legal services, academia and other supply chain-related organizations. These individuals generously donate their time towards the development of these standards via regular teleconference and face-to-face meetings.

The process for the development or revision of a standard is more complicated than it appears. Most standards are consensus-based. This means that while some points are easily agreed upon by a majority of the committee members, other topics can and do often require hours of discussion and sometimes several re-visits before a consensus is reached. Many times specific topics are reviewed by sub-committee group members who volunteer to meet additional hours before presenting recommendations to the entire committee for review.

At SAE, comments submitted for review by the committee are maintained by a committee scribe and are taken up for consideration during the meetings. Once all of the comments are dispositioned, the document is presented to the respective SAE Committee for a 28-day ballot period. If there are no disapprovals/changes/comments submitted during the ballot period, after review by the Content Management Department, the document is presented to the SAE Aerospace Council for a respective 28-day ballot. As before, if there are no disapprovals or changes required by the Aerospace Council, the standard is published.

However, if during the ballot period comments/changes are submitted, the comments will be presented to the committee for consideration. Once those comments are dispositioned, the document will either be presented for another 28-day ballot or 14-day affirmation ballot (depending on the number of changes). This process continues if there are additional technical changes to the document. Once confirmed by the committee, the document is then presented to the SAE Aerospace Council as described above.

While this can result in a lengthy process, the procedure ensures that every committee member’s concerns are reviewed by the entire group. With the process in mind, below are the latest updates on standards currently in writing or under revision by SAE relevant to the industry:

SAE AS5553 Revision B issued by SAE G-19CI Continuous Improvement Committee:

As of the date of this article, Revision B of this document is currently in a 28-day ballot period through April 12, 2016. Intended for use by organizations that procure and/or integrate EEE parts and/or assemblies, the risk-based standard provides requirements for the mitigation of counterfeit EEE parts.

SAE AS6081 Revision A issued by SAE G-19D Distributor Committee:

AS6081 revision A, for use by independent distributors, is currently under development and is anticipated to go into a 28-day ballot after the approval of AS6171.

[NEW] SAE AS6171 issued by SAE G-19A Test Laboratory Standards Development Committee:

The AS6171 General Requirements document has passed committee balloting and has been sent to Aerospace Counsel for final balloting. Several of the slash sheets also passed committee balloting and are being sent to the Aerospace Counsel for final balloting:

•AS6171/1 Test Evaluation Method
•AS6171/6 AM TM
•AS6171/7 Electrical TM
•AS6171/8 Raman TM
•AS6171/9 FTIR TM
•AS6171/10 TGA TM
•AS6171/11 Design Recovery

There are four more slash sheets that are finalizing edits from previous balloting that will likely require committee balloting, but should be finalized in the next few weeks:

•AS6171/2 EVI
•AS6171/3 XRF
•AS6171/4 DDPA
•AS6171/5 Radiological

There are several slash sheets in development that will be included in the second release of AS6171. Detection of the Tampered counterfeit type will be out of scope for the first release, but will be included in the second release with some of the test methods in development.

 All of the these slash sheets will need to be finalized and sent to the Aerospace Counsel before the first release of the standard is published. The Committee Chair anticipates all current slash sheets being completed and sent to the Aerospace Counsel, and perhaps published by end of Q2 this year.

[NEW] SAE AIR6273 issued by the G19T Terms and Definitions Committee:

AIR6273 completed a 28-day ballot on March 29, 2016 and comprises definitions from various G19 and G21 Committee standards. This document will provide a standard set of terms and definitions to ensure consistency throughout SAE’s anti-counterfeit standards.

[NEW] SAE ARP6328: Guideline for Development of Counterfeit Electronic Parts; Avoidance, Detection, Mitigation, and Disposition Systems:

This new standard arises out of the former Appendices contained in Revision A of AS5553 and provides guidance for implementing a counterfeit mitigation plan for compliance to AS5553. Ballot comments are currently being addressed.

In addition to the aforementioned SAE standards, JEDEC has recently published a new standard on counterfeit mitigation. JESD243, released in March of 2016, is intended for use by organizations (e.g. OCMs, aftermarket manufacturers) that manufacture monolithic microcircuits, hybrid microcircuits and discrete semiconductor products under their own brand/trademark. The standard identifies best practices for mitigating and/or avoiding counterfeit products through supply chain oversight and purchasing restrictions. The document requires the organization to have a counterfeit mitigation policy, counterfeit electronics control plan, customer returns process/material control, training and recording of scrap parts and materials.



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