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Executive Summary An example of a manufacturing strategy for a military combat vehicle is the strategy being developed for the Crusader artillery system that is being built for the Army by United Defense, LP (UDLP). The Crusader consists of an armored 155-mm self-propelled howitzer and a resupply vehicle. Both UDLP and the Army project manager for the Crusader (PM Crusader) have set goals to use state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques for production of the Crusader artillery. To further these goals, the PM Crusader commissioned a study by the National Research Council (NRC) to provide expert advice on the strategy, technology, and business plans for system development. The NRC established the Committee on Evaluation of Manufacturing Vision and Strategies for the Production of the Crusader Artillery System to undertake this study (see the appendix for biographies of the committee members). This report deals with state-of-the-art and emerging manufacturing systems, especially for technology to manage the business information necessary to produce such a system. As a framework for its analysis, the committee chose two main areas: engineering a manufacturing enterprise and crosscutting issues. At the time the committee met and wrote this report, the Crusader program was ongoing. In May 2002, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld canceled the Crusader program. However, in order for work on this program to be stopped, Congress must agree to the termination of the funding in the FY 2003 budget. Until that occurs, work on the Crusader program continues at UDLP. Table ES.1 summarizes the objectives and approaches to the recommendations made in this report. ENGINEERING A MANUFACTURING ENTERPRISE A manufacturing enterprise must possess three kinds of assets to successfully turn out a product: physical property, human resources, and knowledge. The strategy and objectives presented to the committee mainly involved knowledge and had little to do with physical property and nothing to do with human resources. Recommendation 1: The committee recommends that UDLP more completely address the vision and objectives for the human resources and the physical assets, especially the issues that surround moving the production from Minneapolis to a permanent manufacturing facility in Oklahoma. An enterprise model describes what is to be accomplished by the enterprise and how it operates. Evidence was provided to the committee that the key elements of such a strategy— communication strategy, information management system, financial systems, purchasing systems, and scheduling systems—are being developed by UDLP. However, the committee is concerned that UDLP lacks a full enterprise model. Completing the development of this model may be the most important next step in implementing the manufacturing vision for the Crusader, as this will touch
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fundamentally on such Army-identified objectives as a streamlined enterprise and the implementation of innovative business practices. Product data management is a critical part of the Crusader production. In the application of product data management tools, focus should be placed on product lines and processes that will ensure the reusability, reconfigurability, and scalability of processes, equipment, and workforce skills. Recommendation 2: UDLP should pursue an open and continuous approach to integration of the manufacturing control system, paying particular attention to scalability and interoperability between the various enterprise resource planning systems that exist in the supply chain. Enterprise integration pertains to the interconnection of applications. It allows companies to make quick and accurate decisions that facilitate timely and responsive performance. UDLP is at a very early stage in its consideration of enterprise integration and apparently has not developed any metrics by which either it or the Army would be able to measure the program’s success. Recommendation 3: To facilitate better systems for managing business and product data in the Crusader project, the committee recommends two actions: UDLP should create a data system accessible throughout the enterprise. The system would contain data on product component attributes, process requirements, supplier requirements, facility capacity, technical assets, and expertise. UDLP should develop and test measurement systems that address the value of time and its relationship to other metrics. UDLP is using mainstream engineering and production software systems from providers that have been active participants in efforts to achieve industry interoperability. It is important for the Crusader team to make software choices that maintain its freedom to choose the best-in-class applications for each production function. UDLP has expressed its intention to provide service throughout the product’s life cycle. This shift will place new demands on the seamless exchange of information throughout the supply chain. UDLP appears to have adopted a positive and appropriate strategic posture for supply chain management. However, there are several operational issues that still must be addressed. Recommendation 4: As the Crusader system matures and after production is complete, UDLP should deal with turning the supply chain from a source of parts into a service that ensures system availability and provides upgrades. UDLP seems to understand the issues of production management and life-cycle support. Recommendation 5: UDLP needs to work to standardize interfaces between all the elements of the supply chain. It should also develop an integrated enterprise simulation model to support real-time control of all levels of manufacturing, from the manufacturing cell or factory floor to the globally distributed extended enterprise. CROSSCUTTING ISSUES Engineering change, risk, manufacturing, ergonomics, information management, and modeling and simulation cut across the categories of knowledge, people, and property.
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A change management system tracks engineering design changes to ensure that all members of the production team are provided with the most up-to-date design information for the system produced. UDLP will need to either develop or procure an engineering change management system for Crusader. Recommendation 6: UDLP should pursue the development of change management techniques, particularly as they pertain to engineering changes, software changes, manufacturing process changes, and supply chain changes. The issue of technology change during the product’s life cycle should also be addressed. The Crusader is expected to entail significant risk because of the relatively large number of innovations that are likely. It is not clear to the committee that UDLP has thought through the process of risk reduction. Recommendation 7: UDLP should pursue risk identification, quantification, and management strategies as they pertain to the manufacturing process. The manufacture of an all-new combat system is fraught with risks that need to be identified and minimized before full production. Uncertainties are inherent given that Crusader is unlike any other system UDLP has produced. Ergonomics is a technical area that is important to developing and maintaining safe and efficient manufacturing processes. UDLP has made an excellent start on dealing with the ergonomic issues associated with the final assembly process. However, there is room for improvement, particularly with respect to human interaction with workstation tools and training. The Crusader project requires an effective communication and information management infrastructure. Based on the presentations, the committee believes that UDLP has embraced a strong course of action for implementing information management throughout Crusader’s life cycle, although additional opportunities exist. Recommendation 8: UDLP should aggressively adopt Internet and Web services to communicate information, share data, and conduct strategic discussions in manufacturing project management, thereby reducing the cost of travel for face-to-face meetings. The Crusader project requires common databases that collect and provide data in standard forms. UDLP should adopt a common data interchange standard and architecture for data exchange to support its operations. Information security remains a very important element of overall national security. UDLP must recognize that design and manufacturing information could be pirated or that information systems could be intentionally disrupted. Recommendation 9: UDLP should develop intellectual property (e.g., trade secrets and competition-sensitive information) agreement models that protect information security while allowing knowledge to be shared with suppliers in an extended enterprise. UDLP has embarked on a vision of information management that is very broad and yet seems to be operating without an overall integration strategy. The committee believes that an architecture for managing manufacturing information should be adopted. UDLP should also define and implement operational data capture technology; define and implement a submodel architecture for operations management; and develop and implement a submodel architecture for logistics support across stakeholder organizations. Modeling and simulation are important tools for the design and analysis of complex systems. The committee observed that UDLP has extensive experience in implementing modeling and simulation in large enterprise systems. It notes, however, that there are areas for potential
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improvement, including realism of simulation models, simulation software and hardware integration, human-computer interactions for the simulation environment, and validation and verification. Recommendation 10: UDLP should develop an integrated enterprise simulation model to support real-time control of all levels of manufacturing, from the manufacturing cell or factory floor to the globally distributed extended enterprise. Simulation will ensure that operational issues are identified before they become problems. The committee believes that with careful attention to these 10 recommendations, which are listed in Table ES-1, the Crusader team (or participants in other large-scale military manufacturing endeavors) should ultimately be able to develop a successful manufacturing enterprise.
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TABLE ES.1Recommendations Objective Approach Recommendation Ensure that UDLP has the three assets necessary to turning out a product (physical property, human resources, and knowledge). Look more closely at the human resource and physical property components of the enterprise. UDLP should address more completely the vision and objectives for the human resources and the physical assets, especially the issues that surround moving the location for initial production in Minneapolis. Seamlessly share data using open systems exchange in a distributed environment and enable and facilitate team-based product development and validation of product and process technology across the extended enterprise. Establish electronic databases and standards for unambiguous digital data representation of the product and processes to build it. UDLP should pursue an open and continuous approach to integration of the manufacturing control system, paying particular attention to scalability and interoperability between the various enterprise resource planning systems that exist in the supply chain. Facilitate better business and product data management systems within the Crusader project. Develop metrics by which either UDLP or the Army can measure the program’s success. UDLP should create a data system accessible throughout the enterprise and containing product component attributes, process requirements, supplier requirements, facility capacity, technical assets, and expertise. Develop and test measurement systems that address the value of time and its relationship to other metrics. Enhance product value and increase profits by keeping up with commercial sector trends and shifting the manufacturing paradigm to one of providing service throughout the product’s life cycle. Ensure that the supply chain information exchange can withstand the new demands that will be placed on it as it shifts to a service-oriented system. UDLP should deal with turning the supply chain from a source of parts into a service that ensures system availability and provides upgrades. Keep potential problems from becoming real problems. Identify issues at the earliest possible moment. UDLP needs to work to standardize interfaces between all elements of the supply chain. It should also develop an integrated enterprise simulation model to support real-time control of all levels of manufacturing.
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Objective Approach Recommendation Ensure that all members of the production team will be provided with the most up-to-date information for the system produced. Track engineering design changes. UDLP should pursue the development of change management techniques, particularly as they pertain to engineering changes, software changes, manufacturing process changes, and supply chain changes. The issue of technology change during the product’s life cycle should also be addressed. Minimize the risks inherent in producing an innovative vehicle. Identify the risks through good engineering. UDLP should pursue risk identification, quantification, and management strategies as they pertain to the manufacturing process. Make the most of Crusader’s “virtual” enterprise. Practice an e-commerce philosophy across all operation levels. UDLP should aggressively adopt Internet and Web services to communicate information, share data, and conduct strategic discussions in manufacturing project management. Promote efficient operations, but protect the integrity of the system. Allow the sharing of proprietary information across the enterprise in a secure environment. UDLP should develop intellectual property agreement models that protect information security while allowing knowledge to be shared with suppliers in an extended enterprise. Support real-time control of all levels of manufacturing (from the manufacturing cell or factory floor to the globally distributed extended enterprise) and ensure that operational issues are identified before they become problems. Adopt a manufacturing information management architecture. UDLP should develop an integrated enterprise simulation model.
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