Original Date: 10/18/1999
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Work Cell Development
In the past, Orenda Turbines used a traditional, shop floor manufacturing flow (e.g., tear-down, strip and clean, preparation, welding, heat treat, assembly, inspection) to repair exhaust frame assemblies. This approach involved long movement runs, queue times, minimal ownership, and competition for parts with other work on the floor. As a result, Orenda Turbines’ repair time was 250 hours per exhaust frame assembly, and its turnaround time was 200 days. Encouraged by the prospect of winning a major U.S. Navy contract in 1994, Orenda Turbines developed a manufacturing Work Cell capability which dramatically improved its repair and overhaul operations for F404 exhaust frame assemblies.
Using a multi-discipline team of supervisors and shop personnel, Orenda Turbines analyzed ways to redesign its operations, reduce costs, and improve turnaround time. The result was the introduction of the manufacturing Work Cell. The company implemented simulation models to optimize the flow of parts; analyzed previous repair trends to predict the frequency of repair conditions; and performed resource calculations on small groups of operations both within the Work Cell (e.g., strip, assess, bare frame repairs, detail repairs, initial assembly, final assembly, braze, pressure test) and outside of the Work Cell (e.g., furnace, plastic media blasting, flourescent die testing, plasma spray) to produce standard times and resource requirements. Additionally, Orenda Turbines reorganized groups of operations to eliminate bottlenecks; designed and fabricated new tooling; and justified and procured capital equipment. The shop floor was also redesigned to maximize the layout of equipment, offices, and storage spaces. Repair and purchase costs were analyzed to optimize efficiency, and operators were accredited to inspect their own work. Orenda Turbines also implemented an improved Travel Card Generator, Measures of Performance, and Asset Management System.
As a result of its efforts, Orenda Turbines reduced repair time to 85 hours per exhaust frame assembly; decreased turnaround time to 30 days; and won the U.S. Navy contract. The manufacturing Work Cell can perform multiple repair operations on 14 separate components for the exhaust frame assemblies. Orenda Turbines’ unique expertise in Repair Scheme Development allows the company to excel in this area. Recently, the company developed an in- house capability for applying thermal barrier coatings by using plasma spray technology. This capability further reduced costs and turnaround times by eliminating the need to subcontract. Since implementing the manufacturing Work Cell, Orenda Turbines repaired and shipped more than 300 units to the Canadian Forces (CF) and 1,300 units to the U.S. Navy.
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