Emergent 2 Figure 13 Current Work Breakdown by Customer in the Machining Center

Emergent 2 figure 13 current work breakdown by

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Emergent 2% Figure 1.3 Current Work Breakdown by Customer in the Machining Center as Percentages of Factory Direct Labor Hours Military programs have a finite life cycle. After the engineering design phase, one or more prototypes are built before the approval for final production is obtained. The prototype stage is generally very labor intensive, as the Center’s work force is learning how to make highly precise and complicated parts. The F-22 program, now at the end of the prototyping stage, is a case in point. First, the Center’s machinist and operators had to learn how to precision machine complicated titanium parts. In the past, most of the machining had been done in steel or aluminum, and titanium has different properties making it a difficult material to machine. Next, the Center’s work force was faced with working through many engineering design changes. Although necessary, these changes are very time consuming. Before making a final prototype part on the desired material, the machinists run trials on less expensive material to show that the numerically controlled machines are rendering the correct part geometry. This is an iterative process, often requiring several trials before producing the desired part. When design changes are introduced, the try-out process begins all over again. Thus for complex parts requiring long machining times the prove-out process is very resource and time intensive. Once the production stage begins, the Center is contracted to spend several years producing parts for a military program, yet the production could still be characterized as low to medium volume . When all the
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18 contract units are completed, no more parts are manufactured. It is worth noting that at any given time, the Machining Center is generally dealing with several military programs at different points in their life cycle. When a large program like the F-22 is in its prototype stage, the work load at the Center is very high during this period, as a result of the learning curve effect and the number of design changes required. Since there are parts for other customers in production at the same time, the learning and design change activities affect the capacity of the Center significantly, and therefore its ability to serve all of its customers. According to Figure 1.3, almost half of the work at the Machining Center is performed for commercial customers, i.e. the 737 through 777 programs. The majority of these parts are made out of aluminum and have been in production for many years. Currently, commercial customers place orders for parts up to two years in advance. Since the production of commercial planes is continuous and at a known rate, there is little uncertainty in the demand. In the future, with the introduction of DCAC/MRM, Boeing’s new resource planning system, orders may not be known as far in advance and shorter lead-times may be required, but BCAG will continue to issue medium to long term contracts with suppliers, which still reduces uncertainty from forecasting and planning at the supplier level.
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  • Spring '05
  • DavidSimchi-Levi
  • ........., Cellular manufacturing, Machining Center

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