Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Manufacturing Introduction Maturity Indices
Rockwell Collins has introduced a manufacturing introductory index to assess a program’s progress toward desired maturity level for full-scale production start. This measure has served the company well in bringing together a multidiscipline team to address early issues that could otherwise cause production start-up issues. The Manufacturing Introductory Index has also introduced a standard language and set of criteria in the Rockwell Collins enterprise that allow management at all levels to convey and understand program risk levels at all development stages.
Rockwell Collins’ Cedar Rapids facility has evolved a global product transition team process to ensure maturity and producibility of product design prior to authorization for manufacture. Previously, Rockwell Collins did not have a consistent cross-functional measure of a new product’s readiness for full-scale production. To provide this measure of readiness for production, the company developed the Manufacturing Introductory Index (MII). This process was developed in 2002 as part of larger, corporate core-process optimization efforts.
The MII process is an enterprisewide management decision tool used to determine what cost, schedule, and product performance results can be expected in the factory. The index consists of 37 key parameters determined to be critical to the success of a new product’s introduction. The parameters and associated scores were developed by a cross-functional team consisting of representatives from engineering, operations, quality and life cycle value stream management. Each parameter is scored on a scale of 0 to 5, with specific criteria for each level of maturity. Parameters are also assigned a weighting factor based on the relative impact they have on the project. These parameters are divided into subcategories of design, material, test, people, manufacturing/programmatics, and documentation. An overall MII score is then calculated by normalizing the sum of the individual parameter scores on a 10-point scale. Progress toward increasing levels of maturity are tracked, with formal gate reviews conducted at preliminary design review, critical design review, test readiness review, and production readiness review. Progress is tracked at these formal reviews, with action being required to maintain the program on track toward the required maturity level for full-scale production authorization.
The benefit of the MII system is that it forces the teams to come together at the major design and development stages to reach a consensus on a project’s overall health, maturity, and readiness to proceed to follow-on stages. Issues are given visibility, which forces early corrective action of items that might otherwise linger and adversely impact full- scale production. The MII is an integral component of Rockwell Collins’ new product transition process that ensures production issues are resolved by a special preproduction team prior to starting full-scale production. Rockwell Collins has seen a 15% improvement in MII scores over the last two years, which has also been correlated with savings in full-scale production startup.
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