Original Date: 03/06/2006
Revision Date: / /
Information : Factory Concerns
Raytheon-Louisville has instituted a computer-based, closed-loop tracking system for the tracking and correction of workmanship and process-induced errors within its product. The resulting process has reduced rework time, established better communication, and generated a proactive problem-solving practice that has resulted in cost reductions, quality improvements, and improved delivery.
Prior to mid-2005, Raytheon Missile Systems’ Louisville facility did not have a formalized process for notifying workers or work groups that downstream customers were experiencing costly rework and time delays due to errors that they introduced into the product. Many of these errors were process sequence-related and workmanship errors which, if workers were aware of them, could have been corrected or eliminated early in the assembly or in the build stage of a product.
In mid-2005, Raytheon-Louisville’s management established a goal for reducing or eliminating workmanship errors to reduce rework time and ultimately reduce cycle time and save money. Employees developed the Corrective Action Web (CA Web), a computer-based tracking system to support their goals of eliminating rework. The CA Web is a closed-loop system where the originator of a factory concern (usually an area supervisor or a team lead) can create a corrective action factory concern” document, then track it through completion. The originator logs on to the system and fills out all the necessary tracking information through a series of drop-down menus (e.g., serial number of unit, type of deficiency, work unit responsible for the problem, desired result expected, etc.). The originator will attach a digital image of the problem condition wherever this is required for clarity. This document is then electronically forwarded to the proper work area for investigation, root cause analysis, and corrective action to ensure that the same type of deficiency does not reoccur in future units. Feedback of the corrective action taken is given to the originator within 10 days. Only the originator can close the action item when he or she is satisfied with the feedback.
Since implementing this formalized process of reporting and correcting workmanship issues, Raytheon-Louisville has experienced a significant reduction of rework time, has better communication between teams, and has become proactive rather than reactive on issues. During a one-year period of time, the facility has witnessed a reduction of final assembly test time by 24%, with material received for test no longer requiring rework. During the same period of time, deficiencies noted per unit at final test were reduced by more than 95%.
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