Manufacturing Marketplace

Productivity

Measuring all efficiencies in the relationship of manufacturing a product

Today's highly competitive marketplace and customer requirements for high quality, low-cost production demand that companies design and manufacture products using productivity as a critical measurement standard. Contractors must be aware that delivering a reliable, quality product on time and within cost is a vital economic necessity. Because high quality products reflect reliability, maintainability, affordability, and design conformance, Productivity and quality are interconnected as the result of the integrated effect between the product and manufacturing process.

Productivity is the measurement of the efficiencies in manufacturing a product - has become a big production issue as the combined results of increasingly advanced technology, more complex designs, and new and evolving materials. Productivity measurement is an essential part of the design process which can determine the probability of success - and assess the profitable through to the production stage. A product's manufacturing ability must now be considered early in the design phase to avoid problems that impact production schedules and costs.

Potential production risks

  • Cost and schedule impact
  • Inadequate design margins
  • Insufficient system capabilities or efficiencies
  • Low or marginal process yields
  • Unavailability of important materials and equipment

Productivity measurement pinpoints areas that result in the "hidden factory syndrome" which has had historically high redesign or rework costs.

Although applicable at any stage of development or production, it is critical that productivity 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. Productivity measurement establishes performance benchmarks and provides the means to measure continuous improvement within a single process or across a total design and production operation.

Benefits

  • designing products to achieve optimum potential
  • cost effective production
  • achieving higher quality
  • reliable, and maintainable products
  • identifying new technologies
  • delivering quality products within cost and on schedule
  • building opportunities for more profitable production

Productivity measurement is a critical element in achieving product integrity. Failure to properly address productivity measurement can affect its performance, increase cost and production timelines, and generate unnecessary redesign efforts.

Methodologies

Systems productivity support can progress through two interrelated methodologies or program implementation plans - design support and manufacturing support.

Design Support

Design support consists of all production design related issues and can be categorized within four activities.

Design Analysis

Design analysis techniques are used to define the simplest approach to produce an item. The item would be first analyzed to determine its primary function(s). It would then be redesigned to perform all of these functional requirements without jeopardizing performance. This aspect of the systems productivity design process demonstrates that the optimization of a design is to meet its form, fit, and function requirements and remain productive with the design at its most fluid state.

Design to Produce

Once the initial design approach is determined, the best production method is selected. Market, technical, and cost variables discussed in the productivity plan were considered when determining the optimal production method. Once the manufacturing method gets identified, the item is designed to match the requirements of the production technology.

Cost Analysis Tradeoffs

When alternate designs are considered, trade studies or cost analyses are required to be performed in order to determine the preferred design approach.

Material and Component Selection

Optimum materials will be selected for production of piece parts considering manufacturing requirements, and design, stress, and thermal constraints. High productivity components would be selected for integration into a system design. Quality and assembly cost should be high-priority considerations in component selection, and parts should be standardized to ease assembly.

Manufacturing Support

Manufacturing support encompasses all production design activities required to prepare the design for production with four interrelated activities.

New Manufacturing Technologies

New manufacturing technologies should be integrated into system design whenever advantageous. It would be the responsibility of systems productivity personnel to ensure that the product design reflects the technology requirements and that the technology is ready for production volumes. This responsibility includes understanding the capabilities of new manufacturing technology and preparing the equipment for use.

Process and Methods Selection

Systems productivity review 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.

Automation

Automated production techniques are integrated into a design whenever it is feasible. Systems productivity identifies candidates for automation and ensured that these parts are designed for the appropriate automation.

Liaison

Systems productivity engineers provide a crucial link between the design and manufacturing worlds. They interface with methods and tooling, manufacturing planning and essential personnel in the manufacturing areas to communicate tooling concepts and to support initial production.