Original Date: 05/01/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Shelf Life Management System
In 1980, Northrop Grumman Defensive Systems Division (DSD) developed the Shelf Life Management System which sets the shelf life of materials. The system is flexible so it can adapt to transition programs, and provides users with material classification, shelf life definitions, labeling procedures, procedures for change, and storage/handling requirements.
The system also utilizes an on-line shelf life reference list. This database is accessible through the local network and used mostly by receiving inspectors, stock room personnel, engineers, and operators. The database also provides part number cross-references for almost 1,800 items as well as descriptions, shelf life, shelf life categories, storage classes, and percent shelf life extensions. Requests for extending the shelf life of a material are submitted to the Material Evaluation Laboratory (MEL). Tests determine if the performance of the material still meets specification. Rejected items are scrapped and the requester is notified. Materials that pass typically receive a shelf life extension of 25%.
Since implementing the Shelf Life Management System, Northrop Grumman DSD has decreased material costs by re-certifying items rather than scrapping them; reduced hazardous waste disposal cost and liability; achieved material requirements feedback; and established a part number cross-reference. The company also attains a better understanding of material performance through the extensive history of test and shelf life extensions.
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