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Systems Engineering and Architecture

Systems Engineering and Architecture

Manufacturing and Quality Engineering

Defense programs identify and mitigate industrial manufacturing and quality (M&Q) engineering risks to support the DoD mission to transition technology from defense laboratories to the warfighter. Within the Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering OUSD(R&E), the Executive Director, Systems Engineering and Architecture (SE&A) establishes policy and guidance to promote M&Q engineering considerations starting during the earliest stages of basic research through development and production, to eventual demilitarization and disposal.

Manufacturing involves the conversion of raw materials into products based upon a detailed design. This conversion requires the harnessing of all related materials, methods, workforce, machines, and measurements through a series of M&Q engineering processes. It includes such major functions as manufacturing planning, cost estimating and scheduling, production and industrial engineering, fabrication and assembly, installation and checkout, demonstration and testing, and quality assurance.

Quality assurance is an essential element of the manufacturing process, not only to prevent mistakes and defects in the manufactured products from reaching warfighters but also to identify risk in achieving a program's cost, schedule, and performance requirements. One of the major drivers in achieving requirements is addressing and minimizing the impact of poor quality on programs (e.g., poor design, supplier performance, process capability, quality escapes). Addressing M&Q engineering issues earlier in the research and development process is essential to more quickly, effectively, and affordably transition technology to capability. Thus, manufacturing and quality engineering provide a key element in the OUSD(R&E) mission to ensure technological superiority and accelerated capabilities to the warfighter.

Strategic Direction

  • Accelerate delivery of key technologies to the warfighter by identifying manufacturing, quality, and industrial risks and contributing to risk mitigation recommendations.
  • Provide support to the DoD workforce by defining and refreshing manufacturing and quality competencies.
  • Develop, publish, and sustain manufacturing and quality policy, guidance, and standards.
  • Advance manufacturing and quality practices and competencies through representation and leadership in joint working groups and industry associations.
  • Provide manufacturing and quality engineering support to Independent Technical Risk Assessments (ITRAs) and defense acquisition programs.

Manufacturing and Quality Engineering Body of Knowledge

The Department of Defense (DoD) Manufacturing and Quality (M&Q) Body of Knowledge (BoK) is a compilation of best practices and lessons learned for completing M&Q activities across the DoD system acquisition life cycle.

The office of the Executive Director, Systems Engineering and Architecture prepared the BoK and will update the work periodically to reflect current policy, guidance, tools, and best practices. This document does not supersede DoD policy, guidance, or law.

The BoK is provided here in six chapters addressing the phases of the Defense Acquisition Life Cycle. Each chapter includes an identical introduction and list of acronyms, references, and tools.

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Early Manufacturing and Quality Engineering Guide

As a companion document to the DoD M&Q BoK, the Early Manufacturing and Quality Engineering Guide further describes best practices and guidance for DoD system developers, project leaders, and M&Q engineers to consider during early defense system development-the period starting with initial system concept definition before the Materiel Development Decision and culminating with the system Preliminary Design Review.

During early development, a program's status and leadership roles may be forming. The decisions regarding early activities, including M&Q, may fall to different persons depending on the stage of development. This guide is intended for the relevant decision makers and their associated M&Q practitioners, so they may consider ways to incorporate M&Q proactively during fundamental early system development activities such as requirements definition, mission engineering, and systems engineering. The guide encourages development project teams to integrate M&Q considerations for warfighter capabilities that can be produced feasibly and that will meet quality requirements.

The benefits of including M&Q in this early stage are many, including improvements in schedule, cost, and performance as the system proceeds through development.

DoD Producibility and Manufacturability Engineering Guide

Manufacturing is a major factor in fielding cutting-edge capabilities to the warfighter. Producibility focuses on design considerations, while manufacturability focuses on improving manufacturing processes and factory floor operations. This guide is an educational tool for product teams to develop and produce parts, components, and systems that can be manufactured easily with significant benefit to the end user. The guide provides useful definitions, references, tools, and best practices.

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The defense acquisition M&Q workforce is managed under the Engineering and Technical Management (ETM) functional area. As part of professional and career development, M&Q practitioners should obtain ETM certifications (Foundational and Practitioner levels) as appropriate). In addition to ETM certification, M&Q credentials (forthcoming) are offered to provide focused M&Q training based on job specific needs.

Engineering Tools

Contact Us

For more information, contact using the following subject line: Attn SE&A 

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense,
Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E))
3030 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-3030