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Streamlining the compliance journey for military hardware manufacturers

06 June 2014

Test and certification group, TRaC Global highlighted the lifetime value of good qualification design of military land vehicles and land equipment at last month's DVD 2014 event. Les Hunt reports.

The Foxhound Light Protection Patrol Vehicle (Crown copyright image)

Embracing DVD’s 2014 theme of how to better support future equipment for the Army of 2020, TRaC Global was at pains to explain how the introduction of testing and compliance earlier in the life cycle of military land vehicles and land equipment helps to optimise such products’ availability, reliability and cost-efficiency.

TRaC Global’s ESQ (Early Stage Qualification) streamlines the compliance journey, closely mirroring the CADMID (Concept, Assessment, Demonstration, Manufacture, In service and Disposal) phases of the life cycle of products such as military land vehicles and equipment, starting at design and running through modifications, before returning to core, right up to final redundancy.

Working directly with design teams, TRaC builds-in attributes that operate in parallel with other elements of the project, steering it away from common compliance and qualification pitfalls. This helps achieve first time success when projects reach the testing approvals and certification phase, as TRaC Global CEO, Mark Heaven explains:

“Regulatory compliance of defence equipment in global markets is without doubt complicated, increasing and definitely can’t be ignored. What we’re seeing is a tendency to treat compliance separately to a product’s development, with qualification testing and certification only taking place during or after the manufacturing stages.

“But with considerable attention centred on maximising availability and extending the operating life of land equipment with optimum cost-efficiency, TRaC Global’s ESQ® service builds in testing into the early stages of a product’s development cycle, thereby strengthening and potentially extending the service lifetime of military land vehicles and equipment.”

Navistar Defence UK is an example of one defence contractor that has clearly seen the benefit of collaborating with TRaC on its testing and compliance obligations. The defence contractor decided to partner with TRaC for diagnostic and remedial support to help a defence vehicle through the demands of the EMC testing process.

As regional manager, Robert Ward says, rather than just telling them what was ‘bad’ about the vehicle, TRaC’s ESQ engineer determined the cause, fixed the issue, and was instrumental in enabling the vehicle to successfully complete formal qualification testing. "TRaC’s ESQ service developed the EMC fixes and retro-fitted parts on a fleet of specialist vehicles,” he adds.

EMC, vibration, shock, ATEX and CE marking/E-marking are also all major considerations for vehicle and subsystem manufacturers on defence vehicle platforms, and these are all areas that TRaC’s EMC and environmental qualification experts can provide help with, including physical testing and ESQ pre-qualification services.

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