4
New Priorities for Defense Manufacturing

Defense manufacturing will face major challenges between now and 2010. At the same time, defense manufacturing will have many opportunities to develop innovative manufacturing methods and technologies that promise higher efficiency, lower costs, and greater capabilities than ever before. The expected interdependence of commercial and defense manufacturing is especially promising. Meeting the challenges of defense manufacturing in 2010 will require a new focus on commercial markets, which will reshape the priorities and organizations of both defense manufacturers and federal defense agencies. Chapters 13 described the challenges facing defense manufacturing, the manufacturing capabilities required to meet defense needs in 2010, and the potential for meeting these needs by leveraging commercial advances. This chapter reviews these challenges and offers recommendations for meeting them.

Setting Priorities

Cost-effectiveness must have the highest priority in future defense manufacturing requirements because of the expected continued decline in the defense budget. The committee believes that the principal criterion for prioritizing manufacturing capabilities for development and investment should be potential cost savings (e.g., return on investment). In this report, the committee has applied this criterion by emphasizing capabilities that (1) will he broadly applicable to many weapons systems or many elements of life-cycle costs; (2) will benefit from substantial nondefense resources; (3) will address large expenditure budget items for DOD; (4) could lead to significant performance or productivity gains; (5) will



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--> 4 New Priorities for Defense Manufacturing Defense manufacturing will face major challenges between now and 2010. At the same time, defense manufacturing will have many opportunities to develop innovative manufacturing methods and technologies that promise higher efficiency, lower costs, and greater capabilities than ever before. The expected interdependence of commercial and defense manufacturing is especially promising. Meeting the challenges of defense manufacturing in 2010 will require a new focus on commercial markets, which will reshape the priorities and organizations of both defense manufacturers and federal defense agencies. Chapters 1–3 described the challenges facing defense manufacturing, the manufacturing capabilities required to meet defense needs in 2010, and the potential for meeting these needs by leveraging commercial advances. This chapter reviews these challenges and offers recommendations for meeting them. Setting Priorities Cost-effectiveness must have the highest priority in future defense manufacturing requirements because of the expected continued decline in the defense budget. The committee believes that the principal criterion for prioritizing manufacturing capabilities for development and investment should be potential cost savings (e.g., return on investment). In this report, the committee has applied this criterion by emphasizing capabilities that (1) will he broadly applicable to many weapons systems or many elements of life-cycle costs; (2) will benefit from substantial nondefense resources; (3) will address large expenditure budget items for DOD; (4) could lead to significant performance or productivity gains; (5) will

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--> address problems likely to become more important in the future; or (6) will not be developed as a result of commercial investment. The committee concludes that the following four categories of defense manufacturing capabilities offer the greatest potential returns on investment: efficient sustainment of weapons systems modeling and simulation-based design tools leveraging of commercial resources cross-cutting defense-unique production processes The committee recommends that current DOD research and development efforts in defense manufacturing be augmented in these four high-priority categories. In the following sections, the committee recommends several areas within these categories for development. Efficient Sustainment of Weapons Systems Research and development priorities in the efficient sustainment of weapons systems should be focused on reducing sustainment costs by shortening product cycle times and developing low-cost processes for maintenance and repair, improving the reliability of new and existing weapons systems, and upgrading new and existing systems. In 1997, the DOD budget for operations and maintenance was approximately twice as large as the budget for procurement and represented approximately 36 percent of the total defense budget (OMB, 1998). Sustainment represents a significant fraction of the life-cycle costs associated with the operation of weapons systems. Because the proportion of aging weapons systems in the inventory will continue to grow, the problem will become more difficult by 2010 and will continue to consume a significant portion of defense resources. Many sustainment capabilities (e.g., improved diagnostics, open architecture, parts logistics, depot floor operations, and remanufacturing) are applicable to many weapons systems, so improvements would have broad applicability and large benefits. The potential for improving sustainment is significant because many modem manufacturing concepts (e.g., lean manufacturing) have not been widely applied to depot and maintenance operations. Commercial manufacturing is unlikely to provide the needed capabilities because few commercial industries have such long-lived product lines, and many of the issues related to the sustainment of weapons systems are defense-unique. Recommendation. Current and future DOD manufacturing research and development aimed at improving sustainment capabilities for aging weapons systems should emphasize the following areas: Application of advanced production processes and practices to

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--> maintenance, repair, and upgrade operations. Many recent improvements in the cycle time and productivity of manufacturing operations are applicable to sustainment operations. Areas of particular importance include shop floor process controls, new organizational structures (e.g., self-directed work teams), reductions in cycle times, management of inventory, and continuous flow manufacturing. Technology insertion for new and existing systems. New weapons systems should be designed with open architectures and should be ''technology transparent" (i.e., upgradeable without major redesigns). Better ways to incorporate COTS products into aging systems without replacing major subsystems should also be investigated to reduce the cost of inserting new technologies. In addition, new system designs should be developed with the goal of increasing system reliability significantly over existing systems. Self-diagnostics for mechanical and electronic systems. Intelligent monitoring systems should be developed that can detect current problems and assess the probability of future failures. The predictive approach goes beyond the built-in test capability of current electronic systems. For mechanical systems, this capability could be achieved through sensors that monitor cumulative stress and structural reactions. Advances in the miniaturization of components (e.g., microelectromechanical systems) may be useful for this application. New technologies for remanufacturing. Methods of noncontact gauging for rapidly capturing mechanical part geometry should be explored. Programmable free-form processes for rapid remanufacturing should be developed. Design methods that improve sustainment. Methods and capabilities should be developed to incorporate total life-cycle, maintainability, high-reliability, and technology insertion into new weapons system design processes. Modeling and Simulation-Based Design Tools A new, more powerful design environment is evolving, with the capacity to predict the performance and manufacturability of products early in the design process. This simulation-based environment will allow design trade-offs to be made at the conceptual stage, as well as at the detailed design stage, and will permit the early optimization of life-cycle costs. (Design changes at the conceptual stage will have the greatest effect on product costs.) Simulation-based design will enable the concurrent design of products, manufacturing processes, and maintenance procedures. Better use of information technology in the design process would enable designers to take into consideration commercial developments in modeling and simulation, database search engines, product data structures, and distributed design methods.

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--> Recommendation. DOD should further encourage defense industry efforts to make the most of the simulation-based design environment and should focus on the following activities: promote the development of models of defense products, manufacturing processes, and life-cycle performance develop algorithms for design trade-offs that optimize life-cycle costs develop enhanced and easily usable parametric models that facilitate design trade-offs at the conceptual stage initiate the development of product databases that will permit simulation at various levels of resolution Leveraging of Commercial Resources The commercial manufacturing industry will continue to drive innovations in manufacturing technology simply because of the size of its investments compared to those of defense manufacturing. As the distinction between commercial and defense industries lessens, defense manufacturing can benefit from adopting the "best practices" of commercial industries. Commercial developments, to the extent that they lower the life-cycle costs of products, will tend to reduce the pressure on defense procurement and operations and maintenance budgets. Recommendation. Advances in commercial manufacturing should continue to be monitored and adapted to defense applications as appropriate. Technology road maps created by commercial industry should be used to help defense manufacturing programs keep abreast of developments and forecasts. The increasing use of COTS products can dramatically reduce the costs and development cycle times for defense products. Most DOD acquisition requirements for new weapons systems require COTS hardware or software whenever feasible. The committee believes that a strategy to incorporate COTS products into existing weapons systems should also be pursued. Even though inserting COTS products into existing systems is not as straightforward as using them in new systems designs, they could significantly reduce costs, especially in light of the growing numbers of aging systems. Recommendation. The following development areas should be pursued to facilitate the widespread use of COTS products: new weapons systems designed for open architecture and technological transparency a central program and mechanisms to maintain awareness of, document, and plan for new COTS technologies that can be incorporated into current

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--> and future weapons systems, as well as to disseminate this information to individual program offices improved methods of inserting COTS products in fielded weapons systems low-cost validation methods for determining the adequacy of COTS parts for military applications Defense-Unique Production Processes The committee identified a variety of production processes that are applicable to many defense products. These processes are generally defense-unique, although there is some overlap with commercial processes. Recommendation. Defense manufacturing programs should continue to address the development and improvement of defense-unique and defense-critical processes. The following defense-unique and/or defense-critical processes have the broadest range of applications: processes that enable rate-transparent production (i.e., production where the per unit cost is independent of the production rate), including programmable free-form processes (no hard tooling); easily reconfigurable production lines (to permit production of different products on the same line), simulation models and tools for production systems (to optimize processes prior to the commitment of physical resources), and adaptive process controls (to increase first-time yield) processes for the low-cost fabrication of composite structures, including automated fiber placement for complex shapes, rapid autoclave processes or nonautoclave processes, and automated structural repair processes processes for the low-cost production and application of low observability coatings and structures, including automated coating processes for obtaining uniform and accurate coatings on complex shapes, coating thickness sensors that can operate in severe process environments, forming processes for complex shapes, processes to coat interfaces between parts, and designs to eliminate interfaces between parts defense-unique electronic technologies, including packaging for harsh environments, integrated systems-on-a-chip, flip chips, multichip packaging, and rugged, uninterruptible interconnections that can operate in severe vibration environments design, information, and manufacturing technologies that provide dimensional control in the production of large, complex parts Reorienting Programs DOD's ManTech program, a joint program of the armed services and the

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--> Defense Logistics Agency, focuses on the development of manufacturing technology for the affordable, low-risk development and production of weapons systems. The objective of the ManTech program is to link technological innovations and developments with production. The six thrust areas of the ManTech program are: (1) metals processing and manufacturing, which focuses on developing affordable, robust manufacturing processes and capabilities for metals and specialty materials that are critical to defense applications; (2) composites processing and manufacturing, which promotes the production of composite structures that can compete with metal structures in both performance and cost; (3) electronics processing and manufacturing, which concentrates on manufacturing technology for electronic materials, devices, integrated circuits, subassemblies, and subsystems; (4) advanced industrial practices, which encourages the adoption of the world's best practices in design, development, production, and life-cycle support of defense products; (5) manufacturing and engineering systems, which concentrates on manufacturing systems technology; and (6) sustainment/readiness, which focuses on improving readiness and logistics support. According to the 1998 budget and five-year budget projections, the thrust areas related to production processes (metals processing and manufacturing, composites processing and manufacturing, and electronics processing and manufacturing) receive about 70 percent of the annual funding; advanced industrial practices receives 20 percent; and manufacturing and engineering systems and sustainment/readiness receive 5 percent each. The projects within these thrust areas are usually directed toward specific program applications rather than generic technology development because the weapons system program managers for acquisition and logistics are considered the primary customers for the ManTech program. Because of this program orientation, the emphasis has been on coordinating program advances and technology implementation across the spectrum of defense manufacturing. The committee believes that the ManTech program is an ideal vehicle for developing many of the required defense manufacturing capabilities described in this report. However, the program needs new directions, including new thrust areas, to meet future demands. Recommendation. The ManTech program should focus on the following roles to meet the needs of defense manufacturing in 2010. (Some of these roles require only a change in emphasis of existing roles, but some are new roles that should be incorporated into the program charter.) Leader in affordability. The ManTech program should be a primary means of achieving weapons systems affordability throughout the life cycle. To serve in this role, the ManTech program should broaden its focus to include the front end (conceptual design and development) and the back end (sustainment) of weapons system life cycles. In addition, the

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--> ManTech program should take a more proactive role in executing projects with large financial impacts on system costs and a more aggressive approach to dispersing new technologies across services and weapons systems. Focal point for cross-cutting defense technologies. The ManTech program should focus on projects whose results are expected to be widely applicable and on minimizing the duplication of projects by individual program offices. Focusing on cross-cutting technologies could lead to substantial cost savings. Technology middleman. The ManTech program should promote the implementation and dissemination of new technologies. In this role, the ManTech program would provide advice and assistance about future technologies for defense program management offices and the industrial design teams responsive to them. One mechanism for technology dispersion would be the temporary transfer of ManTech personnel to program offices or defense contractors as members of design teams or integrated product and process development teams. The goal would be to ensure that new technologies are accepted in the development, production, and support of weapons systems. Information broker and planner. The ManTech program should expand its role in providing information on new technologies by monitoring commercial technology developments so plans can be made for proactively incorporating them into defense systems. The ManTech program should distribute these plans, along with information on new technologies, to the defense community. Industry road maps are one important source of this information. In addition, ManTech development program time horizons should be extended from the current 5 years to about 10 years so that technologies with the potential for significantly affecting weapons systems can be implemented. At present, manufacturing technology projects are often planned so that payback will occur during the development cycle of a program (i.e., within five years). Many significant manufacturing technologies, such as simulation-based design and adaptive manufacturing systems, have the potential to make significant advances in the next 10 to 15 years. Because not all projects need these longer time horizons, however, the ManTech program should maintain a balance of short-term and long-term projects. Expert in weapons systems technologies. The ManTech program should develop a greater understanding of technologies that are important to major weapons systems to facilitate the implementation of new technologies. It might be useful to assign personnel with extensive experience from systems program offices and the defense industry to the ManTech program.

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--> Recommendation. The ManTech program should consider revising its division of effort if it is to implement the new roles and development initiatives that the committee has recommended. The following changes are recommended: Production processes. There are many more opportunities to improve defense-unique production processes than can be accomplished within budget constraints. The committee recommends that production processes continue to be a major thrust area, but the emphasis should be shifted toward cross-cutting technologies. Two examples of production process areas that lend themselves to cross-cutting technology development are composites and electronics. In addition, the ManTech program should expand its efforts to find multiple sponsors for projects to encourage the widespread application of new production processes. Advanced industrial practices. Adopting industrial best practices will continue to be important for defense manufacturers. However, as defense contractors integrate commercial and defense production and more defense subsystems are manufactured on commercial lines, defense manufacturers will naturally adopt best industrial practices on their own initiative. The ManTech program should expand this area beyond best practices to include technologies for enhancing cost-effectiveness. Manufacturing and engineering systems. The ManTech program should establish an initiative for the development of simulation-based design tools in this thrust area. Even though the ManTech program has combined the areas of advanced industrial practices and manufacturing and engineering systems, the emphasis recommended for design should be maintained. The level of emphasis in this area should be at least as great as the development of production processes because of the leverage that simulation-based design can have on weapons system costs. Sustainment of weapons systems. The enormous opportunities for cost savings by new approaches to sustainment suggests that this thrust area should be greatly expanded, with an emphasis comparable to that of the thrust areas related to production processes. Primary project areas should include use of COTS products, self-diagnostics, and shop floor control processes. Leveraging of commercial resources. The ManTech program should establish a thrust area specifically directed at leveraging commercial resources. The keystone in this area is the use of COTS products, including designing for implementation, designing for technology transparency, and the validation or modification of commercial parts. Summary The committee has recommended several major development initiatives intended to improve the cost-effectiveness of defense manufacturing in a high-

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--> priority class of manufacturing capabilities. The committee has also recommended new roles for the ManTech program that would make it more proactive and effective in dispersing technology to users. Finally, the committee has recommended changes of emphasis and direction in the six ManTech thrust areas and the addition of a thrust area for leveraging commercial resources. The committee believes that critical mass can be maintained in the important ManTech initiatives currently under way while the reorientation proceeds. Investments in the ManTech program already provide a return through cost savings and cost avoidance. With the recommended emphasis on projects and technologies with broad applicability, future returns on investments should be even larger.

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