Original Date: 04/26/1999
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Metallurgical Diagnostics Facility
Prior business practices at Marshall Space Flight Center’s (MSFC’s) Metallurgical Diagnostics Facility caused its work planning process to be labor intensive and cumbersome. Documentation of tasks was erratic and difficult to retrieve. Work requests could not be queried in support of new investigations. Photographic negatives were logged and stored in the areas associated with the equipment used to do the work. The system was highly dependent on the availability and recollections of individuals. Beginning in 1994, MSFC identified four areas in which to make improvements: (1) work request closure verification, (2) documentation and image storage and retrieval, (3) budget planning and justification, and (4) data access and distribution.
Consequently, MSFC formed a multi-discipline team to identify specific improvement issues and develop a long- term organizational and facility plan for implementation. By using various tools (e.g., Quality Function Deployment, brainstorming), the team also established a scope and format that focused on a failure analysis database; an electronic work request system; conversion from photographic to digital imaging; and the development of a branch web presence. All these objectives have now been implemented. The Facility’s Failure Analysis Database is a cross- referenced tool that can be searched via keywords. Work requests, active tasks, and completed projects are set up as easily accessible, computer-based documentation. All imaging is now in a digital format and stored in the searchable Electronic Database. A website (http://eh22web.msfc.nasa.gov) has also been established for the Metallurgical Diagnostics Facility.
These advancements have eased MSFC’s transition to ISO-9000 certification and to the recently implemented NASA Full Cost Accounting requirements. In addition, the Metallurgical Diagnostics Facility expanded its customer base to include other NASA enterprises, government agencies, universities, and industry.
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