Original Date: 06/05/2006
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : Defense Advanced GPS Receiver High-Rate Production
After Rockwell Collins received a new government production contract, Coralville production personnel designed a new production line and a new defense advanced global positioning system receiver. The production line design was the result of lean manufacturing principles that resulted in the capability to produce twice as many units two times faster than the old system, reducing work in process and increasing production capability.
The Rockwell Collins Coralville facility initially produced the precision, lightweight Global-Positioning System (GPS) receiver unit at a build rate of 180-200 per day using four production lines in three shifts. The facility’s manufacturing system used a modified kanban method for production flows. Even though the Coralville facility had its own finished-goods warehouse, units were shipped to the Cedar Rapids finished-goods center.
In 2005 the Coralville facility received a production contract for a new Defense Advanced GPS Receiver (DAGR) unit with more stringent performance requirements. To meet the new design requirements, Coralville engineers designed the new unit and a new production system. Using the principles of lean manufacturing, production engineers designed a two-line system consisting of 10 operators working in three shifts for each line. The two lines also used one shared operator for shop-replaceable unit/flex testing, one shared operator for variable standing-wave ratio, and four floaters to maintain the two lines. Coralville trained the operators to perform construction checks within the line flows to improve quality and reduce cost of defects. The improvements resulted in a line that produced 376 units per day. When product was ready to ship, the Coralville facility shipped directly to the customer. A major new innovation employed by the Coralville facility was the use of daily standups and weekly cell meetings that were used to discuss defect trends and resolution.
DAGR high-rate production has benefited the Coralville production facility by reducing work in process and increasing production capability. Cross-training of production personnel has increased flexibility, design changes are now easier to incorporate, and production data is easier to capture.
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