Original Date: 10/20/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Material Control and Parts Management
A key element to building high quality, high performance aircraft within budget is to properly manage production material and parts. Drawing from its experience of delivering more than 1,400 production units and its dedication as a world-class subcontractor for the F/A-18 program, Northrop Grumman implemented an effective Material Control and Parts Management system. Two major contributors to the success of this system are: (1) the development and implementation of Assembly Process Work Instructions (APWIs), and (2) the distribution of end product responsibility to all employee disciplines.
Northrop Grumman uses APWIs, written by tool engineering, for all critical assembly processes. These documents contain the necessary instructions for implementing, controlling, accepting, and certifying a critical assembly process. To successfully distribute the end product responsibility to all employee disciplines, Northrop Grumman formed Integrated Product Teams (IPTs). Implemented and supported by IPTs, APWIs create a sense of ownership down to the assembly mechanic level.
Several simple, effective processes have also contributed to the success of the Material Control and Parts Management system. These processes include providing tool and equipment kits for assembly and repair operations; wrapping kitted parts with clear shrink-wrap; clearly identifying all tool and equipment items; and developing a practical parts handling and protection handbook.
Two years ago, lost or missing part incidents occurred approximately three or four times per week. Since the implementation of the Material Control and Parts Management system, these incidents have been reduced to three or four times per year.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.