Original Date: 10/10/2005
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Shop Floor Data Manager
(equipment: Personal Computer, Local Area Network, Database Server)
Shop Floor Data Manager, a Raytheon Six Sigma™ integrated technology application, is a complete manufacturing execution system with real-time work-in-process tracking for the factory floor that gives managers full control and monitoring capability of production processes.
The Shop Floor Data Manager (SFDM), a third-party COTS package, is one of many IT solutions included in the Virtual Business System (VBS) that is an example of the overall IT strategy to implement Raytheon Six Sigma™ (R6σ) processes. This revolutionary system allows Raytheon to readily adapt the SFDM tool to meet the needs of different business practices involved in the production of widely disparate products. SFDM is currently implemented at the Naval Integration Center (NIC), the Integrated Air Defense Center (IADC) facility, the Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) headquarters, and the Surveillance and Sensors Center (SSC).
Prior to SFDM, Raytheon’s Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) system and other “shadow” systems did not provide timely shop floor production visibility. The success of the SFDM tool in overcoming this shortcoming is its implementation strategy. As SFDM was being customized for Raytheon, continuous improvement feedback loops were set in motion that incorporated refinements suggested by all user levels – from management to the shop floor.
In the initial stages of the implementation strategy, the IT Team demonstrated the system to managers in interested business areas to get their feedback and “buy-in.” This was followed by a management kick-off meeting to form teams with representatives from three of the IADC’s main business areas and to establish roles and responsibilities. Representatives from Business IT include an IT project manager, business system analysts, business hardware and software support, and on-site training support. Business area representatives include business team leads and business team members. Corporate IT is represented by an implementation specialist, training specialists, a software support team, and interface system analysts. Representatives form an Integrated Product Team (IPT) that reviews budget and resource requirements and conducts management reviews during the planning phase. All teams continuously review lessons learned, seeking ways to refine processes and implementation strategies.
As is” processes are reviewed and properly documented, and analyses are conducted of all current processes impacted by the new solution. These reviews document every step of the manufacturing processes in the various product areas, with employees in these areas interviewed to provide input on how the process works to define and document entrance and exit criteria for the process.
A “to be” process design review is conducted to carefully examine the new process proposal to determine if it improves the existing processes. The IT Team uses extensive modeling and simulation of the new process to optimize it for efficiency and integration with other manufacturing processes.
Throughout the implementation phase, budget and requirements reviews are conducted to track the project’s adherence to the project’s plan. Software design requirements are refined based on these reviews, and required software prototypes are created. After a working prototype is created, training is conducted with the new prototype to instruct “Super User” team leads on the use of SFDM for defining their processes and become acclimated to the prototype. The prototype solution is subjected to continuous spiral development, making incremental changes, fixing software bugs, and adding new functionality to facilitate a smooth transition and introduction of the system into production. Management also receives feedback from the team leads during this orientation process.
Since implementing SFDM, the IADC has increased productivity, decreased defects, and stabilized its product line by identifying bottlenecks occurring within the production of circuit card assemblies (CCAs) and radar antenna cell assemblies. In concert with the Virtual Business System (VBS), SFDM provides continuous (24/7) near real-time data availability. There is facilitating of flexible on-line routings and serialization tracking for on-line collection of non-conformance and as-built data. This creates a standard manufacturing environment that enables the elimination of excessive work-in-process (WIP) moves by production personnel.
Raytheon personnel at the IADC facility have benefited through daily log-in via the SFDM in lieu of traditional time clock procedures, reducing delays caused by waiting in a time clock queue. The SFDM system records worker log- in and log-out times and production start and stop times through a graphical user interface. The SFDM also allows employees to choose jobs from their queue. After each employee’s respective job is open, the detailed work instructions are downloaded onto the employee’s screen from the most current engineering information, eliminating configuration control problems. SFDM is also a useful tool for implementing continuous improvement, allowing management to track the progress and flow of processes in an assembly as it is being built by providing production metrics and recording production.
The SFDM software tool has enabled the Andover facility to perform functions that existing legacy systems are not able to perform. Raytheon plans to continue deployment of this tool to two additional Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) facilities – the Expeditionary Warfare Center (EWC) and the Integrated Force Protection and Security Center (IFPSC).
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