2217. Weight, a Measure of Manufacturing Process Control


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R L Adelson: 2217. Weight, a Measure of Manufacturing Process Control. 1994.



This paper describes a Boeing program that introduces weight as a measure of manufacturing process control and how the mechanic is taking ownership of the measurement. An airplane manufacturer has two major weight concerns with the delivery of aircraft to its airline customers: aircraft weight variance and adverse weight growth. Weight variance is often referred to as manufacturing weight variance and is not quantified relative to what contributes to the variance. Adverse weight growth, with no change to the model’s performance or specification requirements, is usually a result of design revisions and manufacturing process changes. The weight engineer can monitor current design configurations by reviewing design revisions but has no means to determine the impact of manufacturing processes on product weight. The purpose of this paper is to provide the reader with information on how manufacturing organizations can implement practices and procedures to monitor the weight and weight variance of their product. Manufacturing managers sometimes have concerns when this concept is initially proposed because of a perceived fear of schedule impact, additional cost, and logistic problems associated with scales. These items of concern were addressed in a trial implementation that took place at the Wichita Division of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group during 1993. Organizations participating were those that build metal bond and composite assemblies for engine struts and nacelles. Results indicated that manufacturing ownership of their weighing process and product weight did not impact schedule, increase cost or disrupt manufacturing operations. In fact, weight awareness by production personnel actually contributes to improved product quality while reducing flow time and cost.


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