What The Quality Philosophy Brings to A Research and Development Environment Like The SSC
In achieving major schedule and performance milestones with a project as technologically advanced as the Superconducting Super Collider, many activities must be coordinated simultaneously without the luxury of a conventional design review process. Because the design may change several times prior to the delivery of a one-of-a-kind or prototype component or subsystem, close verification and monitoring of design, manufacturing and test processes are needed on a real-time basis. This verification and monitoring is performed on two levels by Quality Assurance at the SSC Laboratory; Division and General Management. The Division level is involved in day-to-day activities at the Laboratory and the Suppliers; the General Management level performs the independent oversight function for all the Laboratory quality processes. In the divisions, continuous monitoring of design, procurement, manufacturing, installation, and testing activities is performed. At the General Management level, quality program development and implementation is evaluated within each division. Critical suppliers involved in system design, manufacturing and testing are evaluated against contract and program requirements to assure systems safely perform their intended functions.
Responsibilities for quality are extended by the participation of the SSCL Quality Assurance Office in Accelerator Readiness Reviews (ARR) previously known as Operational Readiness Reviews (ORR) for each major machine developed and designed at the Laboratory. The ARR process for the Accelerator Systems String Test (ASST) provided a real test. Quality Assurance promoted continuous awareness of DOE contract requirements, SSC Laboratory Quality Assurance requirements and the Safety Analysis Report requirements which is not an easy task in the scientific community. A result has been a new cooperative attitude in which physicists, scientists, engineers, safety and quality professionals can work together towards a common goal.
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