Original Date: 10/10/2005
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Cellular Manufacturing
In 2004 Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems’ Andover facility began implementing cellular manufacturing, a cellular environment that focuses on product rather than process. In cellular manufacturing, product focus means both internal and external customer focus. This radical new approach has enabled the Andover facility to lean out many of its operations and reduce costs while being more responsive to customer requirements.
Prior to 2004 Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) used traditional manufacturing methods (batch processing) that led to poor service levels to its internal and external customers, long lead-times, high inventory, and varying quality of finished goods. In mid-2004, the Integrated Air Defense Center’s (IADC’s) Andover facility radically changed its approach by implementing cellular manufacturing in its machining and assembly areas, creating an environment focused on product and customer needs rather than processes.
The IDS approach to implementation of cellular manufacturing uses the concepts of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma tools – or the Raytheon Six Sigma™ (R6σ) process as used at the Andover IADC. With this approach, area work teams are established to conduct value stream mapping of the processes and product flow in the present state. Takt time calculations are made that show the total minutes/hours per unit required to produce customer demand for a given day; and detailed process observations charts are made to document entire assembly processes, tooling and fixture requirements, line of balance and product flow. The data is analyzed, and work teams are then able to establish new product flow lines with balanced work cells and standardized work processes.
Establishing cellular manufacturing process lines along with the use of a pull system for product movement has allowed IDS to reduce product distance-traveled and work-in-process (WIP); increased output from the same footprint, reduced handling touches and product lead-times; and has allowed more human assets to become available for other jobs.
Overall costs to IDS customers have been reduced while making Raytheon more responsive to customer needs.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.