THE ELECTROSTATIC COMPLIANCE AT RAYTHEON
AIRCRAFT TO A BEST IN THE INDUSTRY STANDARD
Bruce Stephens - Sr. Electromagnetic
Raytheon Aircraft Companyís
policies and procedures state that protection of this electronic
equipment is important. In addition, engineering specifications
spell out proper procedures required to obtain the protection
of the high dollar electronic equipment, and training programs
teach employees the importance of handling this equipment.
However, without an electrostatic champion or champions
in the organization none of these important issues are implemented.
The purpose of this presentation will be to show the gradual
steps needed to change the culture of Raytheon Aircraft
Company from a metal bending thinking organization to a
world class electrostatic protection organization.
As a part of an Invisible
Foreign Objects Elimination (IFOE) avionics/electrical process
improvement steering team, sponsored by the CEO at Raytheon
Aircraft Company, an Electrostatic Device Sensitive (ESDS)
sub team was formed to improve this critical process company-wide.
IFOE, by the way, is like the Foreign Objects Elimination
Program, which stresses removal of dirt, trash, and other
objects from the aircraft before delivery to the customer.
The Invisible portion of FOE relates to removing electrical
interference problems from the aircraft. Electricity is
invisible; therefore the program was termed IFOE. The ESDS
team is multifunctional in nature with the best of the best
in the area of ESDS selected as team members. The team studied
the "As Is" ESDS process verses the "Should
Be" ESDS process. The "As Is" process information
was obtained from interviews with shop floor employees,
quality employees, engineers, and others. Actually talking,
listening, and watching the employees on the shop floor
revealed valuable information about the current process
as related to ESDS. This information was compared to the
requirements contained in the companyís ESDS documents as
well as documents external to the company. Benchmarking
other companies was another of the sub teamís tasks. Recommendations
were then made to the IFOE Steering Team and also to all
Vice Presidents of affected areas.
Improvement results came
about slowly. The ESDS Team recommended awareness training
for every employee in the company, and that a more elaborate
training program was required for those employees who handled
the ESDS components on a daily basis. It was found that
training employees without the proper equipment to perform
ESDS processes was very ineffective. Also, improving one
area was not the key to achieving a world class ESDS Program.
This was because the component could be damaged in the next
process, destroying any prior prevention techniques. The
entire company, as well as the external field repair centers,
all had to be compliant or the customer would suffer from
ESDS inflicted failures.
In conclusion, the Raytheon
Aircraft Company is a $2.6 billion dollar a year air transportation
business and growing. The company produces 400 aircraft
per year with each unit containing over $1 million dollars
worth of avionics/electrical equipment, which is vulnerable
to ESDS damage. Raytheon Aircraft Company faces much tougher
market competition and customer requirements are becoming
more demanding every day. These facts require that the quality
of our ESDS processes must improve. Also, with the sophistication
of new electronic components being introduced today, proper
ESDS handling processes are essential. We believe millions
of dollars reported from warranty field failures and internal
scrap and rework can be attributed to improper ESDS handling
processes. Through teamwork and upper management support,
we at Raytheon Aircraft Company are continuing to improve
our ESDS practices and are just now beginning to see a best
in the industry ESDS program that really does work.
If you wish a detailed explanation
of the ESD program at Raytheon, please email Bruce at firstname.lastname@example.org.