Original Date: 07/25/2005
Revision Date: 09/12/2006
Best Practice : Manufacturing Producibility Design Guidelines
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems developed Producibility Guidelines that provide detailed manufacturing and production considerations to design teams. This process-specific information supports trade studies and preliminary design and establishes rules for validating manufacturability objectives during the detailed design phase. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems has realized significant improvements in first-time-through-test yield, cycle times, touch labor requirements, and standardized part selection with the implementation of these guidelines.
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) defines producibility as “the capability to effectively produce a product at the target cost without additional process development beyond the release of a design to production.” This approach uses simple, standardized manufacturing processes while providing the optimum compromise between cost and performance. The objective is achieved only when manufacturability factors such as material selection, yield, and process technology are considered during the design process and are included in alternative trade analyses.
NGES began a program in 2001 that has improved performance in this critical area through the development and distribution of Producibility Guidelines. These guidelines are established by manufacturing engineering for use by design engineering and exist for every manufacturing area within NGES. These documents contain key information impacting design choices that include: Material selection rules and implications
Detailed process capabilities and limitations
Established mechanisms for checking and verifying compliance with the guidelines
Impact of design choices on manufacturing characteristics such as yield, cost, and non-recurring expenses.
Guidelines are used throughout the design and development cycle. During concept design, the guidelines support trade studies of competing designs and consider material selection, process technology, production cost, yield, and manufacturing cycle time. The preliminary design review is supported by information detailing parts selection, process capability/variation that impacts engineering analyses, and identification of cost drivers that support production cost estimation. During the detailed design phase, the guidelines provide “rules checking” to ensure that established production and manufacturing objectives are met by the final design.
Producibility Guidelines have been successful in positively impacting several manufacturing areas. In the manufacture of electronic modules, first-time-through-test yield (FTTTY) increased nominally by 2.1%, while touch labor was reduced by 15%. Standardization of part selection across electronic component assemblies reduced the number of line items needed to support production, improving kitting cycle time, throughput, setup time, and part restocking and changeout time. In the Surface Mount Technology (SMT) area, FTTTY has improved, with NGES achieving 100% yield in July 2005 for the first time. Cycle times are also consistently meeting or exceeding industrial engineering time standards, with this area seeing no design revision notices (RNs) in the past several years for parts influenced by the Producibility Guidelines.
NGES’ Producibility Guidelines have proved to be an effective tool for ensuring successful product builds. Guidelines are maintained and updated by designated process owners from each area and provide critical information to design teams. As a tool within the Integrated Systems Engineering (ISE) system, these guidelines help ensure production at targeted cost.
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