Systems producibility support progressed along two interrelated methodologies or program implementation plans - design support and manufacturing support.
Design support consisted of all production design related issues and was composed of four unique activities.
Design analysis techniques were used to define the simplest approach to produce an item. The item was first analyzed to determine its primary function(s). It was subsequently simplified or redesigned to perform these functions without degrading performance. This aspect of the systems producibility design process demonstrated that the optimization of a design to meet its form, fit, and function requirements and remain producible was an iterative process that must occur with the design at its most fluid state.
Design to Produce
Once the initial design approach was determined, the best production method was selected. Market, technical, and cost variables discussed in the producibility plan were considered when determining the optimal production method. Once the manufacturing method was identified, the item was designed to match the requirements of the production technology. For example, automatic component insertion requirements were "built into'' the circuit card assembly (CCA) design to facilitate high volume, high quality component insertion. In another example, machined metal parts were toleranced using geometric or positional tolerancing, when required, to permit high volume production and functional gauging.
Cost Analysis Tradeoffs
When alternate designs were considered, systems producibility engineering performed trade studies or cost analyses to determine the preferred design approach.
Material and Component Selection
Optimum materials were selected for production of piece parts considering manufacturing requirements, and design, stress, and thermal constraints. High producibility components were selected for integration into the system design. Quality and assembly cost were high-priority considerations in component selection, and parts were standardized to ease assembly.
Manufacturing support constituted all production design activities required to prepare the design for production with four interrelated activities.
New Manufacturing Technologies
New manufacturing technologies were integrated into system design whenever advantageous. It was the responsibility of systems producibility personnel to ensure that the product design reflected the technology requirements and that the technology was ready for production volumes. This responsibility included understanding the capabilities of new manufacturing technology and preparing the equipment for use.
Process and Methods Selection
Systems producibility reviewed the manufacturing process selection with process, methods, and tooling engineering functions to ascertain that the manufacturing process selected was correct and could perform the desired function with acceptable quality levels.
Automated production techniques were integrated into the design whenever feasible. Systems producibility identified candidates for automation and ensured that these parts were designed for the appropriate automation.
Systems producibility engineers provided a crucial link between the design and manufacturing worlds. They interfaced with methods and tooling, manufacturing planning, and essential personnel in the manufacturing areas to communicate tooling concepts and to support initial production.