Original Date: 07/21/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Producibility Reviews to Minimize Welding and Rework
Early success in the Producibility Review Process at Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility added momentum to the Design/Build Program, significantly increasing manufacturing involvement in the design process.
Significant advances in Electric Boat Corporation, Quonset Point Facility’s (EBQP’s) Design/Build Program is evidenced by numerous Producibility Review accomplishments. Collaboration between manufacturing and design engineering streamlined manufacturing processes, standardized design elements, and will support major advances in modularization as emerging manufacturing technologies are brought on-line. A manufacturing expert from EBQP has been relocated to EB Groton’s design group to review or provide input on all build plans intended for EBQP. This open, two-way channel of communication between EB Groton’s design and EBQP’s manufacturing facilitates the staged acquisition of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for early design enrichment.
Additionally, EBQP’s manufacturing personnel review repetitive work packages to minimize welding operations and eliminate rework. The Producibility Reviews are part of EBQP’s continuous effort to improve quality while reducing manufacturing costs. One example is found in revisions to the manufacture of cable pans and pipe details. Traditionally, drip pans were assembled from four separate pieces which were welded full length using tungsten inert gas. Welding was time consuming and required strong-backing to counteract distortion from the welding heat. Furthermore, pan straightening and extensive clean-up were required after welding which was a labor-intensive process. After introducing the Producibility Review process, a Sheetmetal Process Improvement Team devised a pan manufacturing process which required one piece of material, a press brake sequence, and minimal welding. This new approach significantly reduced welding time, eliminated strong-backing, and reduced clean-up time, resulting in a higher quality product with minimal distortion.
Another example is the manufacture of pipe details. When welding bosses on thin wall pipe, the pipe sags or collapses inward around the joint. When welded at or near the end of a pipe, heat input from the welding operation distorts the open end, jeopardizing the next fit-up. After a Producibility Review, a Pipe Shop Process Improvement Team designed a device that slides into the pipe under the boss and locks in place for pipe wall support during welding. Once the welding operation is complete, the adjustable device is easily removed and returned for re-use. This anti-sink device, shown in Figure 2-9, eliminates the undesirable distortion once common in the manufacture of pipe details.
Figure 2-9. Anti-Sink Device (Installed)
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