Today's highly competitive marketplace and customer requirements for high
quality, low-cost production demand that companies design and manufacture
products using producibility as a critical measurement standard. Contractors
must be aware that delivering a reliable, quality product on time and within
cost as specified in a contract is a vital economic necessity for themselves
and for their DoD and commercial customers. Because high quality products
incorporate reliability, maintainability, affordability, and design
conformance, producibility and quality are interconnected as the result of the
integrated effect between the product and manufacturing process.
Producibility - or the measure of the relative ease of manufacturing a
product - has become a pivotal production issue as the combinational result of
increasingly advanced technology, more complex designs, and new and evolving
materials. A product's manufacturability must now be considered early in the
design phase to avoid problems that impact production schedules and costs.
Therefore, producibility measurement is an essential part of the design
process which can determine the probability of successful - and therefore
profitable - production. It identifies potential production risks such
- Cost and schedule impact
- Low or marginal process yields
- Inadequate design margins
- Insufficient system capabilities or efficiencies
- Unavailability of important materials and equipment.
Producibility measurement pinpoints areas that result in the "hidden
factory syndrome" with its needlessly high redesign/rework costs as fostered
in DoD 4245.7M, "Transition from Development to Production" and the Navy's
P-6071," How to Avoid Surprises in the World's Most Complicated Technical
Although applicable at any stage of development or production, it is
critical that producibility measurement be applied in the earliest possible
stage such as concept development to gain maximum benefits. This is a
continuous process that should be repeated frequently in the early stages of a
program, and periodically as it matures, to ensure that the most cost
effective methods of production are being maintained. Producibility
measurement establishes performance benchmarks and provides the means to
measure continuous improvement within a single process or across a total
design and production operation.
Many documents address producibility through subjects
such as concurrent engineering. Few, however, are directed at actual tools to
quantify and determine producibility and provide a roadmap for successfully
incorporating it into the design process and manufacturing structure. This
urgent need for more information resulted in the formation in January 1989 of
a Navy-supported industry-government committee chartered to draft
producibility measurement guidelines. Initial findings were released in
mid-1990 with the "Producibility Measurement for DOD Contracts - Or How Can I
Make What the Government Wants Without Losing My Shirt?" handbook. As a
follow-on to the handbook, this Producibility Measurement Guidelines document
describes and details two tools for government and contractor personnel to
conduct quantifiable producibility measurement, and presents a model roadmap
for producibility program implementation and management. The information
presented in this document has been successfully applied by leading U.S.
corporations and is supported by current industry practices exemplified in the
This document is a reference tool for anyone involved in determining a
company's ability to design and manufacture a quality product. Consequently,
it should be used throughout the production process by people such as the
program manager, design engineer, or manufacturing engineer: in other words -
by the people who perform producibility measurement, manage a producibility
program, or participate in the process. These tools can be individually
applied or used concurrently to confirm validity or indicate disparity in a
measurement during a product's design and manufacturing process.
Although producibility has gained recognition in recent years, it is still
a growing field and as such, related data and documents require constant
evaluation and refinement. This document is not intended to answer all
questions on producibility from here forward. It is therefore a "living"
document - one that will also undergo change and enhancement. However, this
document does provide the foundation for successful incorporation of
producibility efforts in any company.