In our industry, no project gets off the ground without completing certification. It’s how we prove that the design, engineering and construction are safe. So the certification process is necessarily one of the most important parts of the project – so the sooner programmes integrate design and certification processes the better.

So, what are Design Organisation Approval (DOA) managers looking for in a team that supports design, development and certification throughout a programme? From our experience, across some of the leading names in innovative engineering design, DOAs need experts with clear and comprehensive knowledge of the certification requirements, and a practical, pragmatic approach to helping projects succeed.

Technical capability – to successfully manage the certification of complex projects, you need a team that has the technical capability to understand the engineering designs, simulations, tests and results. This comes from years of qualified experience across a range of projects backed by on-project experience inside and outside certification, which brings significant understanding of the latest ways of working.

A positive mindset – everyone wants the project to succeed. No one wants to slow things down, extending timescales and costs. So, a good partner will want to help your project meet the right standards – from initial design onwards. This means a collaborative approach, sharing advice and making suggestions during the entire project to ensure that certification will be achieved at the end. That’s why we’d always recommend that we work within programmes from the very beginning – it will save time, money and stress in the long run.

Supporting innovative design – complex engineering projects require ingenuity and even some risk taking. That’s how technology moves forward, how better performance is achieved and ultimately, how commercial manufacturers set themselves apart from the competition. That innovation is made easier when you have a supportive team, including those dedicated to certification, working alongside your project – particularly a team that has wide structural design and analysis experience.

A commercial outlook – complex engineering programmes are long-term investments, and they need to realise a commercial benefit. So designers look into material use, components and manufacturing that will make the product commercially viable. Certification partners need to have a commercial understanding so that they are supporting the desired outcome: a safe, high-performance product that is a feasible commercial proposition.

At Cascade, we have considerable experience and expertise in certifying primary, secondary and tertiary mechanical structures. In aerospace for example, this could include main wing or fuselage structures, pylons/pods and landing gear, along side smaller components that are designed for manufacturing efficiency.

“Feedback from our customers shows that they really value the way we balance the technical and regulatory requirements of the certification process with the commercial needs of the programme, and supporting it to run smoothly,” says Rob Harborne, Technical Director, who has extensive experience in certification for customers including Airbus, BAE Systems and Boeing. “We work closely with DOAs, programme directors, technical directors and external suppliers to manage the certification process throughout the whole project, helping programmes to run efficiently, effectively and successfully.”

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