- Posted by Alvaro Real
- On August 10, 2020
The CPPA (Coordinated Parts Procurement Agency) is responsible for the engineering, testing and procurement of the EEE parts of a certain space mission.
Over the last 30 years, Alter Technology has gathered an extensive experience acting as a CPPA for most relevant ESA class 1 missions such as Meteosat, Euclid, JUICE and most recently PLATO. The main CPPA goal is to provide the necessary support to guarantee a timely procurement and qualification of the parts according to the requirements of the project while minimising costs.
As a result, the CPPA is considered the main focal point for EEE parts. ESA, Prime contractors and Users have at their disposal one single interface which controls the overall project procurement. This concept enables a wide range of advantages divided into three different temporary stages: pre-procurement, procurement and post-procurement.
The pre-procurement is the first phase which goes from User´s DCL reception until the applicable quotation is provided to the User. Traditionally, the CPPA has been related to FM procurement. Nevertheless, this concept has changed in the last programs and the CPPA has played a relevant role with regards to EM (Engineering Model) and EQM (Engineering Qualification Model) procurement as well. This approach is highly advantageous since it allows the early identification of long lead times (LLI) or critical items that need further evaluation/qualification or additional testing. In addition to this, Alter Technology could exchange information with manufacturers for customized items such as transformers or magnetics, but also harnesses and dies assemblies, at early stages. It is strongly recommended to procure these unusual parts from EM/EQM models through CPPA to guarantee they are completely representative of the FM parts.
The second technical stop is referred to as the procurement stage. Procurement encompasses the period from the reception of a User´s order until the arrival of the components from manufacturers. During this phase, Alter Technology combines the common types of EEE parts from different Users’ orders and releases their own orders towards manufacturers to reduce costs, taking advantage that ordering large quantities considerably lowers the unit prices. This exercise requires a high level of coordination not to jeopardize any User’s schedule.
Another relevant aspect is the anticipation. The CPPA establishes permanent contact with Users to understand any contractual blocking point to initiate its procurement. This situation could cause a huge impact on the overall schedule. That is the reason why Alter Technology offers alternative solutions such as Authorization to Proceed (ATPs) with Limit of Liability (LoL). This flexibility has been extremely successful and made a difference in several procurements over the past years.
As aforementioned, securing the schedule is a key aspect. In this way, CPPA has generated dedicated teams who work to mitigate delays and propose plans-B during the procurement phase. The well-known Tiger Teams and Fire Brigades are crucial to apply any action to secure the schedule. Constant contact with manufacturers, access to diverse stocks, and confirmation requests on priorities by ESA and Users are only some of the main relevant measurements to optimize the schedule.
The last stage is the post-procurement phase. This third block starts with the parts reception at Alter facilities and ends when they are sent to Users. Alter guarantees that the quality requirements are covered, from reviewing manufacturers´ documentation to all the additional tests required by the PAD previously managed by the CPPA.
During this phase, CPPA performs combined evaluations for several User as well as arranges consolidated test campaigns such as SEE for diverse types in one single shot. This approach noticeably reduces both the time and cost of the programs. Moreover, any non-conformance issue at the component level is managed by Alter Technology, leading the applicable NRB (Non-Conformance-Review-Board).
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