A product that is manufactured according to the specifications? This is what you would like to trust. How can you give that assurance to your customer? There is an increased awareness growing at companies, that design integrity comes not only with a good design or a good production facility, but it comes with a complete integration of operational processes between design and production. You only have to look at the aerospace industry or the food industry to know that this will also be the demands in the future for other area's and their products. A Type Approval on your product, or on parts of a product, can grant this integration.
Is Type Approval beneficial?
With a Type Approval certificate you can distinct your high end product from your competitors, showing that control of the design and manufacturing is in the same hands. With globalization it is a fact that Engineering is performed by different teams, also outsourced, all around the world, your product will be sold on different markets complying with different requirements and the location for production facilities are also scattered around the world loosing direct connection with the engineering team. To ensure still the integrity of your design, your product, it is essential to follow the same rules: establish uniformity from engineering until production. To comply as a company with ISO9001 only is not enough, which guarantee that some processes are in place, but it does not say anything about the manufacturing of the design itself, or the handling of design compliance through changes.
In contrary, with a Type Approval certificate on your product you guarantee that complete integration exists from design until production. The design is technically approved (certified), thus complying with the rules AND the product is manufactured in a recognized production location that is able and committed to produce the design according to its specifications. This latter part is very important and contributes to a safer and more reliable product. Unregistered changes in engineering or production could, if detected in time, turn into a recall of the product due to safety reasons. If not, it could turn into claims. Type approvals are registered and traceable per marked product.
Requirements to achieve a Type Approval
Authorities have their own requirements to achieve a Type Approval, but it can be generalised to the following 4 key requirements:
1) the applicant (company) is the design responsible
2) the company’s production site has the facility and necessary equipment to manufacture the part
3) the production site shows good workmanship and qualified employees
4) quality control in the production applies: a quality system is available, unambiguous marking of parts, use of calibrated equipment, described production process, controlled data, change control on all production process related data
Note! Check always the rules of the applicable authority.
Authorities have their own definition of a Type Approval, but in general these are the main differences between a normal Design Approval and a Type Approval:
|differences||Design Approval||Type Approval|
|design approval||order based||design based (type)|
|documentation submittal||each order||one time|
|manufacturing assessment||none||one time|
|witness of tests||each product||first product|
|certificate validity||order based||~4 years|
|certificate maintenance||none||verify impact of changes|
|cost beneficial @||low volumes||high volumes|
|lead time delay||yes||no|
Quick and simple check
Check your organisation’s maturity for Type Approval products;
1) Unique part identification system is applied
2) Product Data Management system in house
3) Authorization assigned for drawing/document approval
4) Document approval and release procedure is applied
5) Controlled product data (revision controlled)
6) Change procedure is applied for production changes
7) Change procedure is applied for design changes
8) Configuration management is applied
9) Compliance demonstration method exists
10) Compliance management system is applied
If all aspects can be answered with 'yes', then Type Approval can be considered.