Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Plastic Encapsulated Microcircuits and Manufacturers’ Part Numbers
Raytheon Missile Systems Company (RMSC) implemented two proactive programs involving use of plastic encapsulated microcircuits (PEMs) and control of PEM manufacturers’ part numbers. Prior to 1997, the use of PEMs required governmental permission and the creation of an extra drawing which referenced manufacturers’ part numbers for ordering purposes. RMSC saw a need to revise these procedures. By placing the manufacturers’ part numbers directly on an assembly drawing, the company could eliminate the need to create a non-value added component drawing and reduce costs. In addition, military semiconductor devices make-up less than 0.4% of the total dollar volume in semiconductor areas, and are continuing to decrease. As a result, more military standard parts are becoming unavailable or obsolete, thereby increasing the number of PEMs requests to customers.
In 1997, RMSC received contract authorization allowing the company to use PEMs on the AMRAAM program without requiring procurement activity approval. Today, 97% of the available packaged microcircuits are PEMs, which enable the company to avoid expensive redesign costs. These drop-in commercial parts, however, must meet environmental and performance requirements, and cannot compromise a product’s mission. If PEM specifications do not meet design criteria, then the part can be tested to determine if it meets all requirements. In addition, state-of- the-art components are now more readily available as commercial devices, and their use will further reduce costs. RMSC is using PEMs in several of the AMRAAM assemblies including the inertial reference unit; VE and AR frequency reference units; infrared receiver; and B filter processor. Commercial databases allow RMSC to verify obsolete parts, recommend alternatives, and receive notification of a part’s obsolescence.
Also in 1997, RMSC received governmental permission to place manufacturers’ part numbers on AMRAAM assembly drawings. By using this process, RMSC eliminated the use of non-value added component drawings to call out manufacturers’ part numbers. Now, the part numbers are placed directly on the assembly drawings. Previously, RMSC spent two to five hours creating, processing, and reviewing AMRAAM component drawings before they could be incorporated into an assembly drawing. By placing the manufacturers’ part numbers directly on an assembly drawing, the company incurs no drawing costs. The manufacturers’ part numbers are also the common denominator between the unique drawing and the specification systems, which were established by each Raytheon division. This process has the added benefit of reducing costs while not compromising configuration management.
RMSC’s use of PEMs brings the company lower costs, greater selection, and better availability compared to military devices and, in some cases, higher quality and reliability. Obsolete or unavailable military standard parts usually have a commercial-grade PEM replacement which is readily available. RMSC replaced a $150 military standard amplifier on AMRAAM with a commercial PEM at a cost of $3.50. In addition to individual component savings, the redesign of existing hardware is minimized by using PEMS.
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