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 TRL, MRL, CDR, PLC, DFMEA, CAD - the list goes on!

Industry jargon and acronyms can make your head spin!  Eighty Four Engineering leverages all the industry leading tools and best practices to help you commercialize your new idea efficiently and effectively.  Read on to learn more about some of the most common tools and processes we use.  


Technology Readiness Levels


Product Life Cycle


Manufacturing Readiness Levels


Preliminary/Critical Design Review


(Design) Failure Modes Effects Analysis


Design for X methodology



TRL: Technology Readiness Levels

The TRL system was developed by NASA in the 1970s as a way to evaluate and define the 'readiness' of a particular technology, concept, product or system.

  • 9 levels, TRL 1 --> TRL 9

  • common language and ranking that be used across any industry

  • adopted by US Government (DoD, DoE etc), academic institutions and companies globally

TRL 1: Basic principles observed and reported

TRL 2: Technology concept and/or application formulated

TRL 3: Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept

TRL 4: Component and/or breadboard validation in a laboratory environment

TRL 5: Component and/or breadboard validation in a relevant environment

TRL 6: System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment

TRL 7: System prototype demonstration in an operational environment

TRL 8: Actual system completed and qualified through test and demonstration

TRL 9: Actual system proven through successful mission operations


MRL: Manufacturing Readiness Levels

The MRL system was developed by DOD following the TRL framework to provide a common language and standards for manufacturing process development..

  • 10 levels: MRL 1 --> MRL 10

  • common language and ranking that be used across any industry

  • 9 ‘Threads’ or focus areas to assess various aspects of manufacturing readiness

  • Download the full MRL Criteria Matrix (excel) from the DOD

MRL 1: Basic Manufacturing Implications Identified

MRL 2: Manufacturing Concepts Identified

MRL 3: Manufacturing Proof of Concept Developed

MRL 4: Capability to Produce the Technology in a Laboratory Environment

MRL 5: Capability to Produce Prototype Components in a Production Relevant Environment

MRL 6: Capability to Produce Prototype System/Subsystem in a Production Relevant Environment

MRL 7: Capability to Produce Components/System/Subsystem in a Production Representative Environment

MRL 8: Pilot Line Capability Demonstrated; Ready to Begin Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP)

MRL 9: Low Rate Production (LRP) Demonstrated; Capability in Place to Begin Full Rate Production (FRP)

MRL 10: Full Rate Production (FRP) Demonstrated and Lean Production Practices in Place

MRL Threads & Sub-Threads.  The 9 key threads are listed below, with their associated 27 sub-threads.  More details on each thread/sub-thread are described in the MRL Criteria Matrix (excel).


A Technology & Industrial Base

A.1 Industrial Base

A.2 Manufacturing Technology Development

B Design

B.1 Producibility Program

B.2 Design Maturity

C Cost & Funding

C.1 Production Cost Knowledge (Cost Modeling)

C.2 Cost Analysis

C.3 Manufacturing Investment Budget

D Materials (Raw Materials, Components, Sub-Assemblies & Sub-Systems)

D.1 Maturity

D.2 Availability

D.3 Supply Chain Management

D.4 Special Handling

E Process Capability & Control

E.1 Modeling & Simulation

E.2 Manufacturing Process Maturity

E.3 Process Yields and Rates

F Quality

F.1 Quality Management

F.2 Product Quality

F.3 Supplier Quality/Management

G Manufacturing Workforce

G.1 Manufacturing Workforce (Engineering & Production)

H Facilities

H.1 Tooling/STE/SIE

H.2 Facilities

I Manufacturing Management

I.1 Manufacturing Planning & Scheduling

MRLs align with a complement TRLs.  The chart below from DoD provides details on each MRL, the alignment to TRLs, and exit criteria to move to the next stage.

Reference: DoD MRL Deskbook


(D)FMEA: (Design) Failure Modes & Effects Analysis

Check back soon for updates!


PLC: Produce Life Cycle

Check back soon for updates!


PDR/CDR: Preliminary Design Review / Critical Design Review

Check back soon for updates!


DFx: Design For X

Check back soon for updates!

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