Original Date: 05/08/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
With the merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA)-St. Louis has become Boeing Aircraft and Missiles (A&M). A&M is a leading producer of tactical and training aircraft, military transport aircraft, strike missiles, military helicopters, and related services. Products produced at the St. Louis facility include the F/A-18 (C/D and E/F), F-15, AV-8B, T-45 and Harpoon/SLAM. Principal customers include the Department of Defense (DOD) and foreign governments such as the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The A&M complex houses management and support functions as well as program management and fabrication/assembly facilities for the F/A-18, development and production aircraft, and the Harpoon/SLAM command and launch system and missiles. Research and testing facilities, test and flight simulation laboratories, a manufacturing technology development center, and a prototype airframe manufacturing facility also reside in St. Louis.
Many companies surveyed by the BMP program in the last few years have focused their energies on one or two particular areas in response to the changing shape of the defense environment. Some have concentrated on reorganization, some on producibility, some on streamlining existing capabilities and processes. Boeing A&M has combined many areas under the overarching umbrella of cost effectiveness. This area was identified by A&M as one that is critical not only to its own survival, but to other defense-related businesses as well. To that end, the company has centered many of its practices on supporting cost effectiveness in its designs, manufacturing processes, and management decisions.
Cost effectiveness has been centered around several initiatives: Process Based Management (PBM); an Advanced Quality System that includes achieving ISO 9001 certification and a Closed-Loop Corrective Action System; Variability Reduction developing High Performance Work Teams; and focused action on causes of customer dissatisfaction. Foundational to achieving cost effectiveness in these initiatives are the best practices and information items included in this report.
A&M’s Integrated Product Definition (IPD) process is a continual effort to fold information, expertise, and value into an emerging concept as part of a fully-integrated, collaborative program that guarantees economical, high performance products. This process is pivotal to A&M’s overall cost effectiveness strategy and is supported by cross-functional high performance teams assembled from all A&M disciplines, and extends beyond concurrent engineering to synergize the right people at the right time for optimum results. Expansion of the team concept has included establishing high performance work teams on the factory floor to achieve front-line cost effectiveness.
A&M places particular emphasis on recycling tools, processes, and lessons learned from previous programs to help control ever-increasing costs in new defense programs. It has developed a database that identifies lessons learned, product specifications, MIL-SPECS, and Fleet-recommended improvements that apply to a particular product. This information provides the historical perspective as well as the means to document new lessons as they emerge. By basing existing efforts on what worked well on past programs, A&M is avoiding costly mistakes while guaranteeing continued success and highly reliable products.
Cost effectiveness is supported by impressive A&M capabilities such as its high-speed machining technology. An enhanced degree of productivity can be maintained while achieving part design flexibility, weight savings, part accuracy and part quality, all of which contribute to cost. This process significantly reduces cutting forces and allows operation at ten times normal speeds and feeds for cutting aluminum parts to produce lighter weight parts with thin cross sections and smaller radii. This in turn enhances producibility and design flexibilities with lower production costs. A&M has also developed a new composite curing tool manufacturing process using arc-sprayed metal. This process utilizes a low cost tooling form over which atomized molten metal is sprayed to form a thin metallic layer. The layer is removed from the original form and backed with a low-cost support structure to add strength. The result is a low cost, short lead time, high durability composite curing tool.
Cost effectiveness is not only supported by new, proven technology insertion but by also evaluating existing design criteria for items produced by A&M and then making allowable changes. One case is the original design requirement of aircraft ECS ducting previously manufactured of Kevlar layups which were expensive to produce. After extensive evaluation of the ducting performance criteria, it was determined that selected ducts could be manufactured by the rotational molding process at less than half the cost.
Because cost effectiveness issues are affected by suppliers, A&M expends considerable effort to develop and enhance supplier relationships. Numerous best practices in this area were identified during the BMP survey including the Source Selection Process which A&M uses to select the best value instead of low bid in procuring contractor furnished equipment, major subcontract items and support equipment, systems, and trainers. Another example is the Supplier Quality Improvement Board (SQIB), a team comprised of supplier management, quality assurance, engineering, procurement, quality engineering, and program management representatives that address concerns which require management review and corrective action. The Preferred Supplier Certification program is A&M’s supplier certification process for establishing long-term partnerships with suppliers. These partnerships enable A&M to provide its customers with technically excellent, affordable products. This certification process focuses on the complete business process, accelerated product and process improvements, and strengthened teamwork between A&M and its suppliers.
Looking for improvement in cost effectiveness issues demands benchmarking outside of the company, and A&M’ benchmarking program builds on techniques used by companies such as Xerox, IBM, AT&T, Texas Instruments, and Motorola. This systematic process facilitates collecting data on superior processes, products, and services from other organizations, and focusing on those areas that impact customer satisfaction and provide competitive advantage. Specifications for enhanced performance are consequently integrated into the A&M Continuous Process Improvement effort.
With the current funding environment unlikely to change in the near future, every company engaged in defense- related work is examining, streamlining, and adjusting its programs to competitively manufacture high quality, affordable products. A&M is answering this challenge by learning from past experiences, incorporating the best of its capabilities and personnel into its IPD process, and continually benchmarking itself against world-class competitors to provide its customers with economical, superior quality products. These activities have been integrated into A&M’s product lines and are producing impressive results such as those presented in the following practices that the BMP survey team considered among the best in industry and government.
TABLE OF ACRONYMS
The following acronyms were used in this report:
|A&M|| ||Aircraft and Missiles|
|ADQAS|| ||Advanced Design for Quality Avionics Systems|
|AJA|| ||Assembly Jig Accessory|
|AMPS|| ||Automated Mass Properties System|
|AUSS|| ||Automated Ultrasonic Scanning System|
|BCS|| ||Baseline Comparison System|
|CALS|| ||Continuous Acquisition and Lifecycle Support|
|CFD|| ||Computational Fluid Dynamics|
|CITIS|| ||Contractor Integrated Technical Information Service|
|CMM|| ||Coordinate Measuring Machine|
|CR|| ||Computed Radiography|
|DB|| ||Diffusion Bonding|
|DFMA|| ||Design for Manufacturing and Assembly|
|DOD|| ||Department of Defense|
|DPVA|| ||Digital Photographic Visual Aid|
|DQAS|| ||Design for Quality Aerospace Systems|
|EDSS|| ||Engineering Documentation Storage System|
|E/MTS|| ||Engineering/Manufacturing Tracking System|
|EQIB|| ||Enterprise Quality Improvement Board|
|EWO|| ||Electronic Work Order|
|FEMWTS|| ||Finite Element Model Weight Estimation System|
|FMEA|| ||Failure Mode and Effects Analysis|
|FMECA|| ||Failure Mode, Effect, and Criticality Analysis|
|FPM|| ||Feet Per Minute|
|FSE|| ||Field Service Engineer|
|GD&T|| ||Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing|
|HBCU/MI|| ||Historical Black Colleges and Universities and the Minority Institutions|
|HQA|| ||Hornet Quality Award|
|HR|| ||Human Resources|
|HSM|| ||High Speed Machining|
|IAMP|| ||Integrated Assembly Management Process|
|I-CASE|| ||Integrated Computer Aided Software Engineering|
|IEF|| ||Information Engineering Facility|
|IMICS|| ||Integrated Management Information and Control System|
|IPD|| ||Integrated Product Definition|
|IPM|| ||Inches Per Minute|
|IVD|| ||Ion Vapor Deposition|
|IWAS|| ||Intelligent Wire Assembly Station|
|LOAPS|| ||Large Order Assembly Planning System|
|LRET|| ||Low Rate Expandable Tooling|
|LSA|| ||Logistics Support Analysis|
|LSAR|| ||Logistics Support Analysis Record|
|MDA|| ||McDonnell Douglas Aerospace|
|MODSDF|| ||Modular Six Degrees of Freedom|
|NDT|| ||Nondestructive Testing|
|PADDS|| ||Paperless Assembly Data Delivery System|
|PBM|| ||Process Based Management|
|PIER|| ||Problem Identification, Escalation, and Resolution|
|QFD|| ||Quality Function Deployment|
|RAA|| ||Responsibility, Authority, and Accountability|
|RCS|| ||Retrofit Configuration System|
|SQIB|| ||Supplier Quality Improvement Board|
|SPEARS|| ||Supplier Performance Evaluation and Rating System|
|SPF|| ||Superplastic Forming|
|S/SDB|| ||Small and Small Disadvantaged Business|
|STOL|| ||Short Take-off and Landing|
|TPM|| ||Technical Performance Measurement|
|TPP|| ||Technical Performance Parameter|
|VSA|| ||Variation Simulation Analysis|
|WTOS|| ||Wind Tunnel Data System|
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.