From the Hill: Have You Hugged Your Technical Review Board Lately?

Increasing revenue is generally the general manager’s top thought. It’s seemingly the only lifeline to a sustainable enterprise. However, the other side of the equation is managing the risk of losing existing cash streams. For the most part, preceding such losses are multiple times of failing to meet customer expectations. This “longer” time frame gives management time to react, develop, and implement a get-well plan.

Typically, however, the sudden loss of a revenue stream is not part of the company’s risk management plan. Maybe it should be when one of your streams is tied to PCBs fabricated to MIL-PRF-31032, and just maybe, the counter risk action might be as simple as periodic recognition.

The topic for this month’s military column is the function of the Technical Review Board (TRB) as it pertains to MIL-PRF-31032 (military requirements for printed wiring board fabrication). The TRB’s duties and responsibilities are the glue that connects the dots between the site, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and the associated military revenue stream. Understanding these duties will help with resource allocation, general support, site priorities, and, most importantly, yearly re-certification to MIL-PRF-31032.

The TRB Defined

The site forms a team of in-house experts to make decisions regarding printed board acceptability and certification. The TRB is a cross-functional team made up of responsible individuals selected from the different areas covered by the quality management (QM) program for MIL-PRF-31032. The TRB assumes full responsibility for managing the QM program. Thus, the TRB is the mechanism that the qualifying activity (DLA) uses to reduce oversight. The TRB members must be identified by name and title. Since the TRB will be making important decisions about qualified materials product list (QML), a method for making decisions (majority rules, unanimous approval, etc.) must be documented. Other aspects of the TRB operation must also be described, such as how often the TRB meets to evaluate the status of the QM program, the standard meeting structure, and how records of these meetings are maintained.

To read this entire column, which appeared in the March 2020 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.

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2020

From the Hill: Have You Hugged Your Technical Review Board Lately?

04-21-2020

The Technical Review Board’s (TRB's) duties and responsibilities are the glue that connects the dots between the site, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and the associated military revenue stream. Understanding these duties will help with resource allocation, general support, site priorities, and, most importantly, yearly re-certification to MIL-PRF-31032. Mike Hill explains the function of the TRB as it pertains to MIL-PRF-31032 (military requirements for printed wiring board fabrication).

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From the Hill: Sampling Plan Language in MIL-PRF-31032

04-07-2020

Conformance to military standards is all about using the correct sample specimen and testing the proper quantity. However, military specifications have numerous tests with various sample specimen types that all require different quantities for test or inspection. Mike Hill provides an overview of the key parts of compliance.

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2019

From the Hill: Technology and Reliability Demands Drive Designers and MIL-PRF-31032 Specification

11-12-2019

With the future demand for more and more military electronics, certification to the PCB MIL-PRF-31032 specification becomes a business decision for many fabricators. Fluency in the MIL-PRF-31032 language is a key first step to understand the requirements and communicate with the DoD. Mike Hill defines many terms related to this military specification that you should review before informing the DoD of your intent to certify.

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From the Hill: The Past 15 Years—Changes to MIL-PRF-31032 Certification, Part 2

10-01-2019

The Part 1 of this column series introduced background information and data from changes in military certification to MIL-PRF-31032 from 2003 to 2018. In this installment, Mike Hill provides an overview of the possible related factors to what could have caused the reduction in certified companies, including a decline in the total military market; cost of certification; and number of military boards now built to industry standards, to name a few.

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From the Hill: The Past 15 Years—Changes to MIL-PRF-31032 Certification, Part 1

08-25-2019

Fifteen years ago, when certification to MIL-PRF-31032 was in the early years, I authored an article about certification status. Now, it’s time to revisit the subject, data, and changes that have occurred since.

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