Original Date: 09/14/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Procurement and Production Processes, Tools, and Metrics
Raytheon Missile Systems Company (RMSC) uses simple visual tools in its RAM MK 49 launcher and Phalanx Block 1 system integration areas to schedule production, track procurement, provide predictive metrics, and help management control the overall system build. These tools provide visibility to critical processes that were not manageable previously. The former method involved retrieving a very lengthy data report from Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP). Personnel spent hours searching this cumbersome report to find critical information such as purchase requisition release, order placement, and part receipt.
The RAM and Phalanx weapon systems are considered low volume, high part mix programs. Only one to two systems are produced per month, but each has a product mix of more than 10,000 parts, covering a broad range of technologies. The work primarily consists of assembly; system test and checkout; subcontractor oversight; fleet repair; spare part provisioning; paint; and shipping. Part obsolescence, gaps in the production build schedules, and cost pressures add to the difficulty of keeping these systems’ production processes and parts delivery on schedule.
The visual tools consist of procurement, production, and management tool reports that are easily generated from MRP each week. The procurement tool report provides a checklist for IPT members, and lists all information on purchase requests, purchase orders, and receipt/need-to-complete dates. The production tool report also provides a checklist for IPT members plus work cells from which priority tasking can be accomplished. The management tool report is used in weekly team leader meetings. This report displays all major items for weapons build, and provides visual guides such as shading to reflect completion dates; flags to show past due dates; and color codes to indicate the responsible IPT. Metrics are established throughout all the reporting tools, enabling the company to determine a system’s status and performance.
By using procurement, production, and management tool reports, RMSC can effectively document and manage the production and tracking challenges of low volume, high part mix systems. Standard processes enable the company to clearly convey personal roles of responsibility and rules of engagement. Since implementing these visual tools, RMSC improved supplier performance and significantly reduced shortages; established a stable production schedule that almost eliminated emergency shift changes; achieved 24 months of on-time spares delivery; and completed the RAM and Phalanx weapon systems two months ahead of schedule.
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