(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
McDonnell Douglas Aerospace - St. Louis, MO
Because current and future environmental regulations have an impact on manufacturing, MDA (St. Louis) devised a way to change production processes to comply with the regulations with the least amount of risk to the production programs.
This was accomplished by using a multidiscipline team approach to generate solutions and determine their workability. These multidisciplined teams include all personnel affected by the new regulations. Customer concerns (internal and external) are taken into account, and all aspects of the current manufacturing method that would be affected are noted. Requirements for the replacement process are obtained using Quality Function Deployment (QFD), and the potential replacement processes are ranked using the QFD matrix.
When the leading candidates are identified, the team attempts to lower the risks of these methods even further by performing trials on non-production parts, running laboratory tests, or performing Taguchi testing. When the team agrees that the process is ready for production and meets the QFD requirements, shop trials begin on production parts. Shop trials are always required, even if the process is proven at other facilities, because each facility is unique.
Each affected process is tested, and each trial is supported by the team across all shifts. The process is monitored and corrective action taken until it meets all requirements and is production-ready. The team, or third party, monitors the process performance to ensure project objectives have been met.
This method has been used successfully on several programs, including ozone-depleting substance elimination and compliant coatings Not only did the new processes not have an adverse impact on manufacturing, in some cases they produced improvements and cost savings. These improvements are highlighted by the following examples:
- Low Vapor Pressure Solvents. MDA (St. Louis) began replacing trichlorethane (TCA) by establishing a natural work group comprised of people involved in operations that used TCA. This group selected several low vapor pressure solvents as replacements. Several were needed as no single solvent could be determined to duplicate all TCA's capabilities. However, these replacement solvents could be used at lower vapor pressures; they had slower evaporation rates resulting in a significant reduction in the required material; and approximately 70% less material was required as compared to TCA. These resulted in a cost impact of 40% material cost saving or $14 per gallon.
- Non-destructive Testing. The non-destructive testing penetrant developer used to detect cracks was changed in 1995 from an ODS to a non-ODS dry powder material. The annual cost of the ODS was $7.6K, and the estimated yearly cost of the dry powder was $1.4K, resulting in a year cost saving of approximately $6.2K.