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Obsolete vs superceded

Obsolete vs superceded

Obsolete vs superceded

I'd like some input on handling obsolete/superseded drawings and distinguishing between the two.

We have drawing 12345 that defines two versions of the part - 12345-01 and 12345-02. The drawing is 12345 and the parts it defines are 12345-01 and 12345-02. All three numbers are in our ERP system and must necessarily be revised together whenever there's a change.

For various maintenance reasons, including separate customers for the -01 and -02 versions, we recently decided to eliminate the drawing 12345 Rev B and release separate drawings for 12345-01 and 12345-02, both at Rev B. This creates two distinct parts that can be maintained separate from each other. The revision is maintained because nothing has changed in the design.

Our ECO to accomplish this released the two new drawings and obsoleted the base drawing 12345. Is there anything wrong with this approach? This would have been standard practice before I came to the aerospace industry. An engineering manager is now saying that we've done it all wrong and won't sign off on the implemented drawings. Rather than obsolete the 12345 drawing and take it out of circulation, he insists it should be marked as superseded, and per Y14.35, we should consider eliminating the use of "OBSOLETE" and call such drawings "CANCELED".

Part of the issue is that "OBSOLETE" isn't clearly defined, not in our QMS system, not in AS9100, not in ASME Y14.x, except for Y14.35, defining it as "Released information that has been superseded by another revision". Note that our QMS docs reference Y14.x standards but don't specifically call for us to follow them to the letter.

Our contention is that the DRAWING 12345 is now obsolete. It doesn't obsolete the designs that were on it, as they live on in the newly-released -01 and -02 drawings. And per our QMS documentation, obsolete documents are removed from general access.

We've already approved the ECO and I'm having a hard time understanding the need to do anything differently than how the ECO was written. I'd appreciate another perspective on this.

RE: Obsolete vs superceded


Is there any need to declare stuff obsolete at all? When it is time for me to build your Super Duper Nutating Widget, I look at the BOM and I order whatever is on there. If your obsolete part is not called up, it and its drawing are invisible to me.

If you update your BOMs to show the correct parts, I figure you are done.


RE: Obsolete vs superceded

Obsolete - still can be used on some old models. Cancelled - no longer in use and won't be used even for old design.

Just for reference:

VOID = the document was not intended to be made live. Mark the document VOID.

OBSOLETE = the document is no longer required and no further revisions will ever be required.

CANCELLED = the document has been stopped and another document should be released to replace it.

SUPERSEDED = the document has been updated/amended with a new revision. Move the Superseded document to an electronic file named Superseded and make sure all copies of the original document are stamped or marked SUPERSEDED to ensure they are not used in the field.

Jenia Ladkov

RE: Obsolete vs superceded

Obsolete (obsolescence) applies to physical parts. You don't obsolete documents or drawings; you cancel them.

Canceled = Document should no longer referenced, anywhere.

Inactive = Document not to be referenced on new designs, but may still be referenced on the things that already list it.

Canceled/Inactive + Superseded by = Whether canceled or inactivated, tells the reader that a new document takes its place and, while it should be interchangeable, it still has to be reviewed for applicability. But, at least, you have something close to continue using. This is often used as a breadcrumb trail so other documents that reference a canceled or inactivated document can utilize the new document without having to go through a revision to update the reference.


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