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I can't speak to aerospace processes today, but in the 1970's-1980's
when I was in the industry, it was extremely rare for one-off projects
such as the one described to have "assembly manuals." Such documents
were usually found in systems involving multiple units, particularly for
those involving field installation and service procedures that would be
performed by non-engineers, such as uniformed service personnel.
Prototypes and one-offs were usually assembled to drawings prepared
by systems integration engineers (because they almost always involved
components from multiple contractors).
Perhaps Dan's point was that the errors described happened because
there were no TWs and manuals involved ("the drawings are not correct")?
But I'm not sure I'd agree with that, because in the absence of good
post-assembly/preflight testing, the errors in incorrect design drawings
just tend to be propagated into manuals prepared from them. As a
former test engineer, I would say this article actually is an argument for
more resources for that activity. :)
----- Original Message -----
From: <mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
> Well, this is certainly a QA problem, but is it the domain
> of techwriters, or of design engineers and CAD people?
> Are there actual assembly manuals that are more detailed
> than just reams of drawings and parts lists? It would seem
> to be the job of the engineer who specifies the parts to
> indicate placement and orientation. It would also seem to
> be the job of those engineers and CAD people to indicate
> units on the specs and assembly drawings.
> Maybe somebody who has worked on such a project can describe
> the process and where the TW fits in.
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