Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL)

Manufacturing Readiness Level (“MRL”) is a measure of readiness for manufacturing in the same way that Technology Readiness Levels (“TRL”) serve is a measure of technology readiness, but the scale is different.

US DoD MRL

It is used by some United States government agencies, in particular the Department of Defence, to assess the maturity of manufacturing readiness. The DoD has a website, DoDMRL, that is a collaborative website of Industry, Academia and DoD,
that provides references and tools on the subject.

MRL-DoD

This is a chart of the DoD’s version of MRL

The SAE is also in the process of developing a new standard for Manufacturing Readiness, AS6500. This manufacturing management program in many ways replaces the MIL-STD-1528A that was cancelled as part of the Defence Department’s acquisition reform initiative in the mid-1990s.

General MRL

The same idea can be used in general industry assessments, or for more specific application in assessing capabilities of possible suppliers.  An example of a simplified version for more general use is shown below.

MRL-General

Automotive MRL

The Automotive Council in association with the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership created a draft guide for use by manufacturers of low carbon vehicles, i.e. electric and hybrid vehicles, that links technology readiness with manufacturing readiness. This can be downloaded here.

Comment

A traditional problem in British industry has been one of finding too many problems when a new product is first produced, leading to delays and unnecessary expense. This is linked to the problem of when to release the Bill of Materials and the individual parts to purchase and manufacturing and what that release means.

Use of manufacturing readiness levels may help to reduce the level of problems seen in first production.

Contact us if you would have these kinds of problems and would like to discuss improving your process with us.