Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Multi-Clamp Program
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility’s Multi-Clamp Program team optimized existing manufacturing techniques and technologies to dramatically reduce fabrication time while improving the quality of the product.
Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility (EBQP) identified an inefficient production process for clamp fabrication. The process involved cutting clamp forms from raw sheet stock, punching end holes, and bending using a single bending die. Although the clamps were ordered in batches of 25 to 200, the operator produced them separately. This costly, inefficient process produced inconsistent bends and sometimes resulted in scrapped or wasted material.
A process improvement team of lofting, manufacturing, and end users was established to determine a less costly, better quality process. The goal was to develop a process that would eliminate the need to shear individual strips for the clamp halves and change the method for drilling or punching bolt holes. The team developed the Multi-Clamp process that implemented a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine code for making either a four-bank or ten- bank clamp part. The team also manufactured dies that bend the multi-clamp banks in one bending motion. The batch processing of clamps, using a group technology system, decreased manufacturing time by 50% while improving the product’s quality and reproducibility. The process eliminated steps, reduced paperwork (work orders) and material handling, and improved safety.
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