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Why: With active configuration control you know where items are used and contained, where and why they were installed, where signal originate, what items are used where and in what environments, what drawing revisions have occurred and the product conforms to the drawings and specifications, what alternate materials/components have been used, and test reports/certifications are available as original documents for review.

When: Configuration control begins after the first design review to build an unbroken chain of traceability to aid in avoiding surprises in the field which would destroy the designed-in criteria for availability, reliability, maintainability, and cost effectiveness established as a portion of the original design criteria.

Where: Frequently these documentation details are assembled into a dossier with third party witnessing for use in validating conformance to the design requirements and provided to the owner of the equipment as witness documents.

These definitions are written by H. Paul Barringer and are also posted on his web site at www.barringer1.com

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