Original Post Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Electronics Complexity and Quality Levels…


The PRICE Calculator for Electronics Manufacturing Complexity, shown below, has a subtle but very powerful feature for Quality Adjustment, based on Mil-Hdbk-217E Quality Levels. 


The above shows “None” which yields the standard MCPLXE, in this case a 8.07 value applying 100% Large Scale Integrated Circuits for Display (with CRT) equipment as an example. Yet, in the course of estimating a mission-critical automatic tester  with multiple controller-card assemblies for an airborne-military platform, I adjusted for more stringent quality levels—specifically “S-1” level consistent with Mil-Std-975/ Mil-Std-1547 per below.


Note that for military airborne platforms, as well as manned and unmanned space, the default is a “B” quality level. {For military mobile and ground, the defaults are “B-1” and “B-2” respectively.} The result of adjusting up to a more stringent “S1” quality/tolerance level was a much higher 8.94 MCPLXE value which significantly drove up costs. Out of curiosity, I did sensitivities on these quality levels, from “S” down to “D-1” {again B-1 & B-2 are moot} as shown in the boxed center column “Display” below (in purple).

As you can see, all electronic types (in this airborne military specification) are highly sensitive to quality levels. Graphically, we have the following results.

Rule of thumb: when the quality requirement is in question— ask!