HomeProduct DesignMost Used 99 Acronyms in Product Design, R&D and Manufacturing

Most Used 99 Acronyms in Product Design, R&D and Manufacturing

A Must Know: acronyms are used everywhere in technical publications, and it is helpful to regroup the ones specific to Product Design, R&D, startup, and Innovation. We list here acronyms mostly related to mechanics, statistics, standards, project management, lean and process organization, quality, finance, and IT.

This acronyms list does not include foreign language terms such as Japanese Lean Sigma terms but does include organization acronyms (ex.: ASME, ASTM, AWS, BS …) when these are used for standards, codes, or other general interests.

Mind that these acronyms should not be used excessively, as demonstrated here for fun with majestic Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam.

Print, Share, or Bookmark

Most Used Acronyms

Acronyms List version 1.05

Acronym Definition
ADSL Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
AES Advanced Encryption System
AISI American Iron and Steel Institute
ANOVA ANalysis Of VAriance (statistics)
ANSI American National Standards Institute
API Application Programming Interface
APQP Advanced Product Quality Planning
ARR Annual Recurring
ARR Annual Run Rate
ASAP As Soon As Possible
ASCII American Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASM American Society for Metals
ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials
ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode
AWS American Welding Society
BOM Bill Of Material
BS British Standard
CAC Customer Acquisition Cost
CAD Computer-Aided Design
CAM Computer-Aided Manufacturing
CAPA Corrective Action and Preventative Action
CAPEX CAPital EXpenditures
CFD Computational Fluid Dynamics
CGI Computer-generated imagery
CLI Command Line Interface or Command Line Interpreter
CM Contract Manufacturer
CMOS Complementary metal-oxide semiconductor
CNC Computer Numerically Controlled
COGS Cost of Goods Sold
Cpk calculation of process capability
CRM Customer Relationship Management
CTQ Critical To Quality
DCR Document Change Request
DDoS Distributed Denial of Service. A particular hacking method
DFM Design for Manufacturing (or Manufacturability) or Maintainability (rare)
DFM Down For Maintenance (rare)
DFMEA Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (see also FMEA & PFMEA)
DfSS Design For Six Sigma
DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol
DHF Design History File (from FDA)
DHR Device History Record (from FDA)
DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung (German Institute for Standardisation)
DMAIC Define Measure Analyze Improve Control
DMR Device Master Record (from FDA)
DOE Design of Experiment
DPO Direct Public Offering
DSL Digital Subscriber Line
DV Design Validation (test)
ECN Engineering Change Notice
EDA Electronic Design Automation
EDI Electronic data interchange
EMC ElectroMagnetic Compatibility
ERP Enterprise Resource Planning
FAI First Article Inspection
FCC Federal Communications Commission
FEA Finite Element Analysis (see FEM)
FEM Finite Element Method. Read more in Wikipedia dedicated article.
FFF Form Fit & Function
FFF Forms Follow Function
FIFO First In First Out (see also FILO & LIFO)
FILO First in Last out (see also FIFO & LIFO)
FMEA Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (see also DFMEA & PFMEA)
GD&T Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing
GMP Good Manufacturing Practices
GPU Graphics Processing Unit 
GTM Go To Market
GUI Graphical User Interface (see UI)
HACCP Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points
HTML HyperTextMarkupLanguage
HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol
IaaS Infrastructure as a service
IEC International Electrotechnical Commission
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IFU instruction For Use
IMAP Internet Message Access Protocol
IMHO In My Humble Opinion
IoT Internet of Things
IP Industrial Property
IP Index Protection
IP Internet Protocol
IPO Initial Public Offering
IQ Installation Qualification (see OQ PQ V&V also)
ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
ISO International Organization for Standardization
ISP Internet Service Provider
JIT Just In Time
LAN Local Area Network
LBO Leveraged Buy-Out
LIFO Last in first out (see also FILO & FIFO)
LTV LifeTime Value per customer
MAG Metal Active Gas (welding)
MCO Manufacturing Change Order
MCR Manufacturing Change Request
MDD Medical Devices Directive (medical EU) or (medical FDA). Risk of confusion here
MDR Medical Device Regulation (medical EU)
MFA Multi-Factor Authentication
MIG Metal Inert Gas (welding)
MOQ Minimum Order Quantity
MRP Manufacturing Resources Planning
MRR Monthly Recurring Revenue
MSA Measurement System Analysis
MTBF Mean Time Between Failures. See dedicated post and MTTR below
MTTR Mean Time To Repair
NAS Network-attached storage
NDA Non-Disclosure Agreement
NDR Net Dollar Retention
NPD New Product Development
NPI New Product Introduction
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer
OOO  Out Of Office 🙂
OPEX Operational EXpenditures
OQ Operational Qualification (see IQ PQ V&V also)
PaaS Platform-as-a-Service
PCB Printed Circuit Board
PDCA Plan Do Check Act
PDM Product Data Management
PFMEA Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (see also DFMEA & FMEA)
PLM Product lifecycle management
PM Project Manager
PMBOK Project Management Body of Knowledge
PMO Project Management Office
POC Proof of Concept
POC Point of Contact
PoE Power over Ethernet
PPAP Production Part Approval Process
PPC Pay per Click
ppm parts per million
PQ Performance Qualification (see IQ OQ V&V also)
PR Public Relations
QFD Quality Function Deployment
QMS Quality Management System
R&R (gage) repeatability and reproducibility
RFC Request For Comments
RFP Request For Proposal
RMA Return Material Authorization
RoHS Restriction of Hazardous Substances
ROI Return On Investment
ROR Ruby on Rails
RTCP Real-time Transport Control Protocol
SaaS Software-as-a-Service
SDK Software Development Kit
SKU Stock Keeping Unit
SLA Service Level Agreement
SLAM Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (algorithm)
SMART Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Timely
SMED Single Minute Exchange of Dies
SMTP Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
SOAP Service Orchestration And Automation Platform
SOP Standard Operating Procedure
SOP Start Of Production
SOW Statement of Work
SPC Statistical Process Control
TIG Tungsten Inert Gas (welding)
TOC Table Of Content
TPM Total Productive Maintenance
TQM Total quality management
UDP User Datagram Protocol
UI User Interface (see GUI)
UPS Uninterruptible Power Supply
URL Uniform Resource Locator
URS User Requirement Specification
USPTO United States Patent & Trademark Office
UX User Experience
V&V Verification and Validation
VOC Voice of Customer (read Gold Nuggets for Design)
VoIP Voice Over IP
VPN Virtual Private Network
VSM Value Stream Mapping
WAN Wide Area Network
WEEE Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (directive)
WIFI Wireless Fidelity
WIP Work in Progress
WLAN Wireless Local Area Network
XML Extensible Markup Language
YTD Year To Date
TAT Turn-Around Time
RPM Revenue Performance Management
RPM Revolutions Per Minute
RPM Revenue Per Mille (thousand)
RPM Package Manager (Linux - initially Red Hat)
CPM Cost Per Mille (thousand impressions)
CPM Corporate Performance Management
KPI Key Performance Indicator
CPC Cost Per Click

Use the form on the right to suggest the acronyms we may have missed.

Top must-know acronyms in Innovation and Product Design:


Exact matches only
include Online Tools
include Events


Share suggestions, corrections,  examples, experience or ideas that may be integrated in this article

In English, if Monday is the first day of the week, by which letter starts the third day? (correct answer is needed to be able to submit)


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People animated slideshow

"7 Habits of Highly Effective People" made famous by Stephen R. Covey is powerfully summarized in seven(!) minutes,...

The 14 Lean Principles of The Toyota Way

To resume many of the lean principles of a company or attitude, one book is key. From the...

The 5 Japanese Lean Terms You Must Know in Manufacturing and Quality

For Manufacturing: the Japanese Lean terms are must-know vocabulary in manufacturing or quality as these have no direct...

3 Great Benefits of Color Coding in Product Design

Product designers and marketers can use color coding for 3 reasons: to convey a message, to convey a...

Best 40 TRIZ Principles to Boost Your Design Challenges

For product design engineers. The 40 TRIZ Principles are the solutions to solve the "TRIZ contradictions" in product...