What is an Engineering Change Notice (ECN)?

Engineering Change Notice

An engineering change notice (ECN) is an official notice that a change has been approved. Many companies use a formal ECN to help ensure their contract manufacturers and other manufacturing partners are building products correctly.

Optimizing Engineering Change Notice Management in Product Development

In product development, the management of engineering change notices (ECNs) necessitates a combination of strategic forethought and precise implementation. Establishing a transparent and consistent procedure for initiating, evaluating, and approving ECNs is a best practice that ensures uniformity and clarity throughout the organization. It is critical to involve cross-functional teams, such as those from engineering, manufacturing, and quality assurance, in the ECN process to collect a variety of perspectives and areas of expertise.

Optimizing ECN Process with PLM Technology for Agile Product Development

The implementation of a centralized database or PLM system improves communication of ECNs and reduces errors by facilitating the documentation and monitoring of changes. The utilization of PLM technology to implement automated procedures and approvals can save a substantial amount of time compared to the manual processing of ECNs. Automating change management not only optimizes the process but also removes the impact of human error associated with manual and siloed practices, resulting in an additional acceleration of product development cycles.

In essence, a streamlined ECN process promotes a product development environment that is more agile and responsive, allowing organizations to swiftly adjust to changes while upholding stringent quality and compliance criteria. As a result, delays are mitigated and competitiveness is enhanced.

What is a Engineering Change Notice
Engineering Change Notice


Why do engineers modify their design?

Engineers modify their designs to drive continuous improvement and innovation. In some cases, designs are modified to fix a reported product defect or malfunction. In other instances, designs are modified to add enhancements that help differentiate products from the competition.

What is the purpose of an ECN?

An Engineering Change Notice (ECN) is a document that authorizes and records design modifications made to a product during its prototype and lifecycle stages. After the basic design is complete, ECN documentation offers the reasoning for changes made to a component or system.

*Source: Best Practices: Engineering Change Notice

What is the difference between ECN and ECO?

An Engineering Change Order (ECO) is a documentation packet that outlines the proposed change, lists the product or part(s) that would be affected, and requests review and approval from the affected individuals charged with implementing the change. An Engineering Change Notice (ECN) is a document authorizing and recording design changes throughout the prototyping and lifecycle phases of a product. ECN documentation contains the justification for changes made to a component or system once the initial design is complete.
*Source: https://cadtalk.com/2019/11/08/eco-vs-ecn/

Streamlining Engineering Change Notices with PLM and QMS Integration

The utilization of quality management system (QMS) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software is crucial with regard to engineering change notices (ECNs). In the engineering and manufacturing sectors, an ECN is a vital document that notifies parties of changes to processes, specifications, or designs.

From inception to disposal, PLM systems guarantee that these modifications are monitored and implemented with precision throughout the product’s lifecycle, including design, manufacturing, and disposal. This seamless integration guarantees that all relevant parties are consistently and accurately apprised regarding the product record. Conversely, QMS frameworks enable the preservation of quality standards during the course of change. They guarantee that any modifications made to the product adhere to regulatory standards and do not undermine its quality or safety.

By combining PLM and QMS, a methodical strategy is established for overseeing ECNs, ensuring product integrity, minimizing errors, and decreasing time-to-market; thus, customer satisfaction and adherence to industry standards are protected.

Enhancing QMS Compliance through Engineering Change Notices

The implementation of quality management system (QMS) adherence during product development and manufacturing is significantly impacted by engineering change notices (ECNs). ECNs establish a systematic framework for monitoring and controlling modifications, such as those made to designs, materials, or manufacturing processes, through the formal documentation of such changes. This ensures that products consistently surpass quality benchmarks. The ability of ECNs to uphold traceability, enforce regulatory standards, and facilitate ongoing improvement is what significantly influences QMS compliance. ECNs facilitate the adjustment of organizations to changes, safeguard the integrity of the quality management framework, and reduce risks through the implementation of systematic review and approval procedures. As a result, product quality and safety are ultimately elevated.


Companies typically use various change forms throughout the change process. This article describes the importance of the engineering change notice (ECN) and how using an electronic system to communicate changes helps keep changes on track.