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MIL-HDBK-350 (Base Document)
Revision / Edition: 91 Chg: Date: June 7, 1991
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This standard sets forth the requirements for a cost-effective corrective action and disposition system for non-conforming material. It defines requirements relative to the interface between the contractor and the contract administration office on nonconforming material. This standard sets forth the DOD contracting activity requirements for a properly constituted Material Review Board. The primary purposes of the corrective action and disposition system are to identify and correct causes of nonconformances, prevent the recurrence of wasteful nonconforming material, reduce the cost of manufacturing inefficiency, and foster quality and productivity improvement."

Implementation notes:

1. MIL-STD-1520C sets forth the DOD procuring activity requirements for a properly constituted Material Review Board (MRB) as referred to in MIL-STD-480B, Configuration Control-Engineering Changes, Deviations and Waivers, paragraph 5.4, Requirements for waivers.

2. Application of this standard provides a means for improving quality and productivity, thereby reducing losses associated with nonconforming material. When effectively implemented, it results in fewer nonconformances, lower nonconformance costs and better first-time pass rates.

3. MIL-STD-1520C recognizes that investigation and corrective action for every instance of nonconforming material as if they are of equal significance or consequence is not cost-effective. Focusing corrective action effort is one extremely important feature of this standard. Nonconformances impacting safety, performance, high rate manufacturing processes or delivery schedules require immediate corrective action to prevent further recurrence. While every nonconformance can offer an opportunity to improve, for isolated nonrecurring nonconformances the cost of investigation and corrective action could exceed the loss. An effective corrective action and disposition system directs resources toward those nonconformances with the greatest impact and potential for quality improvement. Pareto analysis (see figure 2, page 5) offers one effective method for focusing on the significant few with the greatest potential return.

When referenced in a contract, this standard applies to material and supplies (excluding computer software) to delivered to the Government which fail to conform to contractual requirements. Requests for specification changes, engineering changes, and major and critical waivers and deviations are not applicable to this standard."

Implementation notes:

1. As is the case with computer software, this standard is not intended for the disposition of nonconforming technical or engineering data to be delivered to the Government. Nevertheless, the corrective action provisions of the standard do apply to computer software and technical or engineering data (or anything else) when it is a cause of nonconforming material.

2. The standard is not intended for approval or disapproval of deviations, minor or otherwise (as defined by MIL-STD-480B).

3. MIL-STD-1520C is also not intended for application to equipment during field use. Once equipment is "delivered" for use, whether material was accepted by the Government or not, nonconformance reporting is normally accomplished by Product Quality Deficiency Report or Service Report. However, these reports and other sources of field use data when analyzed by the Corrective Action Board (CAB) or other personnel can provide a valuable source of information for use in improving the design, development and production processes.

Whenever this standard is changed or revised subsequent to its contractually effective date, the contractor may follow or authorize its suppliers to follow the changed or revised standard provided no increase in price or fee is required. The contractor shall not be required to follow the changed or revised standard except as a change in contract. If the contractor elects to follow the changed or revised standard, the contractor shall notify the contracting officer in writing of this election. When the contractor elects to follow the provisions of a change or revision, the contractor must follow them in full unless otherwise authorized in writing by the contracting officer."

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