DO-254 Engineering Steps

DO-254 compliance and certification require strict hardware engineering discipline and proof throughout the hardware engineering lifecycle. This includes DO-254 system safety analysis, DO-254 systems engineering, DO-254 hardware requirements, DO-254 hardware architecture and design, DO-254 hardware verification, and DO-254 quality assurance. Also required are DO-254 configuration management and DO-254 Designated Engineering Representatives (DERs).

Each of the above DO-254 engineering activities has available 3rd party tools to support DO-254 compliance and "proof". Also available from a variety of sources are DO-254 consultants and service providers for guidance or hands-on engineering along the way.

Your DO-254 activities should include the following steps:

1- Receive DO-254 training. Private and public DO254 courses are available from a variety of sources. Select the one that has successfully trained the greatest number of engineers performing work similar to yours. You should also require a money-back guarantee and check instructor credentials: have they published DO-254 books and are they affiliated with a large and pure DO-254 company instead of being solo individuals trying to earn occasional money by rehashing already published materials. Trainers charge $8-12K for private training; low variation in prices, but huge variation in results. Contact us for DO-254 training providers.

do254 engineering
Perform a DO-254 Gap Analysis. Analyze your existing hardware development processes and artifacts (requirements, design, code, tests) to determine what can be re-used and what must be re-done. Take DO-254 credit for as much legacy work as you can, under guidance from a registered DER; this will easily save you 20%-70% and reduce DO254 compliance costs. Have this performed by a registered DER with formal Gap Analysis training and experience; cost is typically $15-20K and requires 2-4 weeks to perform. Click here to link to DO-254 Gap Analysis providers.
Make or buy DO-254 Planning documents and DO-254 checklists. If you have ample DO-254 experience and sufficient time, you can build these on your own over a period of several months. Otherwise, procure them from an outside source. Cost varies from $10K - 20K for a package; procure from a source whose primary business is such and who updates them regularly and guarantees their certification success via dozens of recent DO-254 certifications. Click here to link to DO-254 Planning and Checklist providers.
Select your DO-254 DER (Designated Engineering Representative). If you're reading this, your company probably does not have their own internal DER. There are over 100 individual registered DO-254 Hardware and System DERs. The FAA maintains a list, and several providers maintain a staff of consulting DERs for your usage. Fees range from $120 - $400/hr; price does not indicate quality in this case. Often, higher prices indicate an inability to garner sustaining work. Check credentials, get a list of the DER's past 10 clients in the last year and ensure all were satisfied; and expect to pay $150+ per hour for a DER. Click here for a link to registered DO-254 DERs.
Plan your DO-254 project resources and determine which portions you will do yourself and which you may outsource. There are over 10 DO-254 outsourcing companies in the U.S. (overseas DO-254 companies are NOT formally recognized by the FAA! Their work is generally sub-par and disallowed for final certifications; tread carefully in offshore outsourcing and receive ITAR guarantees from the provider and the U.S. Government before engaging offshore). Again, avoid the low-cost DO-254 bidder; cheap does not mean cost-effective. Go with a DO-254 outsourcing company who owns their own offices, maintains a full staff of DO-254 engineers, and works on multiple successful avionics projects simultaneously with dozens of successful references. After all, there is a reason they have been in business and grown throughout the years. Click here for a link to DO-254 outsourcing companies
Select your DO-254 Products and DO-254 Tools. Your DER can assist with this. Read the pages herein for information on many of the available DO-254 products and tools to enable you to do your work better, faster, and more cost-effectively.

For information on DO-254 engineering, email info@do254site.com

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