Original Date: 08/07/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems (LMTAS) is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility designated as Air Force Plant 4, located adjacent to the realigned Carswell reserve base in Fort Worth, Texas. This division of Lockheed Martin employs over 11,900 personnel with a 1994 payroll of $677.76 million. Facilities encompass 602 acres with over seven million square feet of building space. LMTAS supports several major programs including the Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon, FS-X, and F-22 Air Superiority Fighter aircraft. In addition, LMTAS is leading Lockheed Martin’s effort in the Joint Advanced Strike Technology program to develop future tactical aircraft for the Navy, Marines, and Air Force.
The Best Manufacturing Practices (BMP) program last surveyed this site in 1988 when the company was the Fort Worth Division of General Dynamics. Many of the significant practices reported at that time have carried through to present-day programs. For example, the company was ahead of many organizations in addressing environmental concerns a program that has resulted in millions of dollars saved over the last seven years. Combining the best of General Dynamics with Lockheed strengths has produced a company that provides its customer with the highest quality products. LMTAS has also developed and enhanced new practices and processes. Its Lean Enterprise Initiative program and a strong relationship with its suppliers have resulted in a right-sized workforce and a 38% cost reduction to the F-16 program. These efforts in turn have relied on integration and communication as underlying support mechanisms to execute initiatives and practices successfully.
In 1988, General Dynamics had a corporate strategy of protecting the environment and achieving zero discharge of all hazardous wastes. This policy was forward-looking and successfully generated LMTAS’ present-day, proactive emissions remediation management program. More than 50 successful zero-discharge projects have been completed, and pollution prevention initiatives have saved the company more than $25 million on hazardous waste disposal. The result of LMTAS’ environmental program was its selection to receive the Clean Texas 2000 1995 Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence.
LMTAS has remained progressive in its newer programs. Recognizing that Department of Defense dollars would continue to be reduced, LMTAS instigated a Lean Enterprise Initiative in 1991 by first examining and then eliminating all non-value-added costs as they relate to the total weapon system cost. It then outsourced many of its machining, sheetmetal fabrication, and other fabrication functions and has become predominantly an assembly and composite fabrication operation with Integrated Product Team participation by its fabrication suppliers. This has allowed LMTAS to actively concentrate on two critical Lean concepts: effectiveness (doing the right things) and efficiency (doing things the right way). Through the Lean Enterprise Initiative and its associated outsourcing program, LMTAS has become more efficient and has reduced the F-16's flyaway price by $3M per unit.
Outsourcing would not be possible without strong relations with suppliers since purchased material is a high cost driver for LMTAS products, accounting for more than 50% of the total cost. LMTAS has aggressively addressed all aspects of supplier base improvements, communications, and long-term relationships. This program, based on generating objective metrics, is supported by a framework of core programs that improve supplier communications, affect cost/quality/schedule, and establish a certified supplier base. This highly successful supplier relations effort has produced substantial benefits; in particular, the per-unit cost of deliverables has been reduced although total volumes are declining, and 99.9% of all schedules are met while maintaining high levels of performance.
Integration and communication constitute the support infrastructure for these LMTAS programs. These two efforts can be independent or, at times, interrelated. Integrating internal software databases such as those used in the avionics integration process and the Logistic Support Analysis program provides access to all personnel involved at any location. Bringing together these personnel who require, share, or access specific data has helped to eliminate duplication of effort and provide a valuable communication tool throughout the organization. This action has led to LMTAS’ award in the Logistic Support Analysis program of a Blue Contractors Performance Assessment Rating for the past three years.
The BMP survey team considered the early involvement of end users in the design process to be among the best communication practices documented by the BMP program. The company’s Integrated Product Development effort includes the end user on functional Integrated Product Development teams to help it produce an effective, efficient product that satisfies the end user’s needs. Since 1985, LMTAS has included end users (pilots) as members of its F- 16 Cockpit Review Process to help reduce development costs, improve pilot efficiency, and enhance combat capabilities. This coordination with users constitutes a critical component to ensure that end products specifically address customer requirements. LMTAS’ extensive collection of coordinated design processes produce complete “build-to”packages, and also features the use of solid models and process-based cost estimating. These processes not only provide modeling and simulation capabilities for today, but also provide the basis for virtual manufacturing concepts of the future.
Companies such as LMTAS will continue to meet considerable challenges for many years. However, building on past successful practices (e.g., environmental program) and cultivating current programs such as its Lean Enterprise Initiative and solid supplier relations, LMTAS is adapting to and excelling in a highly competitive arena. Effective integration of databases and end-user communication are strong capabilities that will help LMTAS continue as a premier aircraft production company well into the 21st century. The BMP team considered the following practices among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS:
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|ABC|| ||Activity-Based Cost|
|ACAD|| ||Advanced Computer-Aided Design|
|ASE|| ||Avionics Simulation Environment|
|CAD|| ||Computer-Aided Design|
|CATIA|| ||Computer-Aided Three-Dimensional Interface Applications|
|CIS|| ||Core Integration Station|
|COMOK|| ||Computer Mock-up|
|CPU|| ||Cost Per Equivalent Unit|
|DoD|| ||Department of Defense|
|EDI|| ||Electronic Data Interchange|
|ESDR|| ||Engineering Source Data Requirements|
|FSS|| ||Fuel System Simulator|
|IPD|| ||Integrated Product Development|
|IPT|| ||Integrated Prouct Team|
|IRM|| ||Information Resource Management|
|IRP|| ||Internal Review Process|
|LMTAS|| ||Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems|
|LSA|| ||Logistic Support Analysis|
|MMC|| ||Modular Mission Computer|
|MRB|| ||Material Review Board|
|MRP II|| ||Manufacturing Resource Planning and Production|
|P3V|| ||Product Proof and Prototype Validation|
|PD&D|| ||Product Definition and Design|
|PDC|| ||Process Development Center|
|QP#1|| ||Quality Policy #1|
|RCA|| ||Root Cause Analysis|
|RFP|| ||Request for Proposal|
|SEPG|| ||Software Engineering Process Group|
|SIRT|| ||Simulation Integration Review Team|
|SPC|| ||Statistical Process Control|
|SPEAR|| ||Supplier Performance Evaluation And Review|
|SPM|| ||Supplier Performance Metric|
|VR|| ||Variability Reduction|
|WBS|| ||Work Breakdown Structure|
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