Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Centralized Components and Materials Team
By centralizing its Components and Materials team, Raytheon Missile Systems Company (RMSC) established a cadre of collocated experts for cradle-to-grave support in parts, materials, and process disciplines. This approach standardizes all RMSC programs, and replaces the previous method which inconsistently handled component and material problems. The Components and Materials team consists of three groups: Components and Materials Applications; Component and Materials Laboratories; and Computer Aided Design (CAD) Library Support. These groups can provide direct support on specific issues and/or indirect support via the Components Information Management System (CIMS).
Components and Materials Applications These experts specialize in parts and materials documentation and contract requirements; commercial and military supplier processes; radio frequency, microcircuit and connector applications; non-destructive testing; chemistry, materials science, and metallurgy; composite materials; and surface corrosion. The group maintains the technical accuracy of CIMS, and leads the Parts/Material Management Teams (P/MMTs) in determining the approval status for design standardization. In addition, the group supports the on-line RMSC parts and material request process by determining RMSC preferred parts; validating part numbers; identifying technology maturity level and/or obsolescence; ensuring part availability; verifying supplier statistical process control; and monitoring part reliability.
Component and Materials Laboratories These experts use extensive state-of-the-art chemical analysis, failure analysis, test, materials, and process equipment/methods (e.g., differential scanning calorimetry, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectra analysis, plasma etching, hermicity testing, salt fog, mechanical testing, prototype plating). In addition to providing quick and valuable responses to customers’ requests, this group develops and maintains standard processes as well as the associated documentation and metrics.
CAD Library Support These experts establish the company’s standardized symbols, geometries, and simulations. This group is part of the RMSC-wide effort to integrate processes, and to control and standardize the parts and materials selection. The company funds the development of CAD library components for RMSC preferred parts with overhead monies. Those programs interested in using new or non-preferred parts can do so at their own expense.
The collocation of the Components and Materials team enabled RMSC to easily implement a jointly-developed June 1994 Tri Service/Hughes Directive. As a subset of CIMS and a direct result of the Directive, RMSC established an approved parts and suppliers list; a standard process for materials and part selection; standard documentation practices; P/MMT support for all program design activities by identifying preferred parts; and a multi-program checklist to ensure all parts are evaluated for key characteristics. This approach provides early identification of potential problems such as parts obsolescence, supplier quality, design quality, and producibility. In addition, RMSC predominantly uses CIMS as a design tool which strongly facilitates the use of proactive, standardized design practices within the company. Future plans are to extend CIMS into manufacturing models.
Since centralizing the Components and Materials team, RMSC reduced part level documentation costs by 56% and corresponding cycle times by 20%. The company also achieved a 52% increase in requests for documentation and a 17% increase in requests for laboratory support. Awareness and accessibility were an overall improvement to all RMSC programs.
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