Original Date: 08/20/2001
Revision Date: 12/14/2006
Best Practice : Automated Engineering Change Notice/Problem Sheet System
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems developed the Automated Engineering Change Notice/Problem Sheet System as a workflow tool for creating, reviewing, and tracking engineering changes and manufacturing issues in a paperless environment. This system allows for complete visibility of the process at all times, and provides the metrics necessary to properly evaluate the success of the process.
In the mid-1990s, Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems-Surface Systems (NE&SS-SS) converted its engineering change notice (ECN) process from a manual, labor-intensive, paper process to an automated, computer-based process. This change allowed the company to better track the flow of its ECNs and reduce its approval cycles. In the late 1990s, Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS further refined this process by creating the Automated ECN/Problem Sheet System, an electronic workflow tool for creating, reviewing, and tracking engineering changes and manufacturing issues in the design and manufacturing environment.
ECNs are formal mechanisms for revising released engineering drawings. Problem sheets are formal mechanisms for documenting issues with engineering or process documentation. Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS wanted to tie together the databases of these related, but separate mechanisms. The goal was to replace the paper process across various organizations with a single electronic process and to streamline the review and approval process. As a result, the company developed a common tool for creating documentation that still met the varying needs of its numerous users.
The Automated ECN/Problem Sheet System provides Lockheed Martin NE&SS-SS with an automated tool for creating, processing, and monitoring ECNs and problem sheets in engineering, manufacturing, program management office, and sourcing departments. Standard and custom review screens give employees the ability to develop meaningful metrics of their processes. In 2000, more than 6,600 documents were processed under this system. The company has also significantly reduced its total cycle time (problem sheet investigation, analysis, ECN generation, and approval).
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