Original Date: 04/01/1993
Revision Date: 01/19/2007
Best Practice : Separation Rail and Attenuator Tube Center
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace (MDA) has developed and installed a self-sustaining manufacturing cell for fabricating the hardware used in a rocket fairing separation system. Prior to the cell's development, various parts were manufactured and fabricated in several different shops throughout the complex, resulting in long queue times, low performance, slipped schedules, and poor quality control.
This area - the Rail and Attenuator Tube Center - now controls the manufacture and inspection of various parts that comprise the separation system as well as the assembly of the attenuator tube. Major cell equipment consists of a CNC drilling machine, a CNC vertical machining center, two EDM machines, and various tube flaring and bending equipment used to form the tube assembly.
All equipment is dedicated to the parts that comprise the separation system assembly. Repetitive part manufacturing within the cell has resulted in first time quality improvements as well as productivity gains. Consistent process control is now achievable, and process improvements can be readily applied and quickly measured. Because the parts no longer are shifted through the various shops, cycle times and damage due to handling and transporting has been significantly reduced. Additional part families have been added to the cell as the customer base has grown, which has further improved the cell productivity.
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