Product / Process Change Notification Method in Automotive Electronics

PCN in Automotive Electronics.
© ArchMen - / ZVEI

Preparations for a revision 4.x are started. MEMS and MCM are to be included. Requests for changes must be submitted by 30 April 2018.​​​​​​

Product and Process Changes (PCN) are inevitable to cope innovation cycles, quality requirements and immense price pressures.

Changes to electronic components (active and passive devices) can become necessary for many reasons. E.g. some might be development related, some could have a quality or logistic background, etc.

According to international agreed standards, changes of electronic components must be qualified and notified by the manufacturer, and often approved by the customer. Unfortunately the PCN process is often a cumbrous one, which takes many months, or even years. Reasons for that are:

  • Content of PCN incomplete or unclear which leads to retardation,
  • description of change information can be difficult to understand and or the format used can lead to misunderstanding, and
  • without additional hints for device change, it’s not clear which influence on functionality / reliability could be affected by the change.

To expedite the approval process, the working group "PCN Methodology" proposes to enhance the communication between 2nd tier (component manufacturer) and 1st tier (electronic control unit manufacturer), and therefore:

  • developed a standardized information set for change notification from 2nd tier to 1st tier (PCN Form) with information of possible impact and
  • based on the systematic of the Qualification Matrix which was developed and successfully used during the lead free implementation, the ZVEI group compiled a matrix with typical changes of passive components and integrated circuits or discrete semiconductors, indicating the tests which should be considered to evaluate the technical impact of the device changes in the application (Delta Qualification Matrix or DeQuMa).

The overall process and the use of both, "PCN Form" and "DeQuMa", is described in the revised ZVEI "Guideline for Customer Notifications of Product and /or Process Changes (PCN) of Electronic Components specified for Automotive Applications".​

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