Quality Assurance: The Perils of Doing Too Much

Introduction All engineering projects usually consist of analysis and design phases followed by the fabrication and construction phases. The analysis phase involves visualization, computer modeling and simulation of the intended structure or system subject to a set of code-mandated loads and load effects. The results of the analysis then form the basis for designing/sizing of system components to satisfy a given set of design strength and stiffness requirements. Finally, the various components are fabricated to the specified dimensions, shipped to the construction site, assembled and installed at the given location(s). Thus, the overall project quality involves assuring the quality of not only the process (analysis, design, fabrication and construction) but also controlling the quality of the product or materials used in various components of the system (Figure 1).

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