Raytheon Manufacturing Technology:
Producing Better Products Today and Tomorrow
Raytheon is leveraging innovations in manufacturing technology to enable affordable and reliable customer solutions. Our global team utilizes its Manufacturing Technology Network (MfgTN) and Technology Interest Groups (TIGs) along with a manufacturing Technology Area Director (TAD) to create a collaborative roadmap of manufacturing technology.
The MfgTN is an enterprisewide network of manufacturing subject matter experts (SMEs) whose purpose is to promote the development, optimization and proliferation of advanced manufacturing technologies and to facilitate communication between all disciplines which support manufacturing across Raytheon. The MfgTN promotes common methods in manufacturing for cost and risk reduction and effective methods for manufacturing technology transfer across Raytheon businesses. It also provides a means for technical communication through the TIGs and an annual manufacturing technology symposium. Eleven TIGs exist within the MfgTN, covering a wide range of topics from cleanroom management to advanced manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing.
One of the key leaders within the MfgTN is the manufacturing TAD. TAD responsibilities include initiating new TIGs when needed to address new or emerging technology areas and organizing and coordinating technology symposia and workshops on important and current manufacturing topics. The TAD is also responsible for facilitating and developing companywide integrated technology roadmaps within the manufacturing domain that identify technology focus areas, gaps and closure strategies. In addition, the manufacturing TAD supports research activities such as independent research and development (IRAD) projects and external technology partnership activities, including those with universities, national labs and other companies.
The TAD-facilitated technology roadmaps are divided into focus areas including automated manufacturing, rapid prototyping and design aids and advanced manufacturing methods and processes. The roadmaps provide a timephased plan for maturing the manufacturing technology in each area with the goal of improving the quality, reliability, timeliness and cost effectiveness of our products. This issue of Technology Todayhighlights some specific technologies Raytheon has applied or is investigating in the advanced manufacturing area.
Automation plays a key role in current and future product manufacturing at Raytheon. An example of this can be seen at the Raytheon Redstone Missile Integration Facility (RRMIF) where, through the use of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and robotic assembly stations, the company is optimizes manufacturing labor, improves missile cycle times, and removes process variations (see Figure 1). Details on the RRMIF and its extensive use of automated manufacturing are provided in the feature article “Raytheon Missile Facility Modernized by Advanced Technologies.”
Another example of manufacturing automation at Raytheon is the use of robotics and automation work cells in the assembly of missile seekers (see Figure 2). Traditionally, the manufacture of seekers has relied on skilled manual labor to execute complex assembly processes. As you will read in our featured article, “Application of Robotics to the Assembly of Missile Seekers,” Raytheon employs robotic manufacturing cells to increase productivity and remove variation from our processes. Key benefits include reduced cycle time, assembly costs and work in process inventory. The featured article highlights an initial implementation of a robotic assembly cell that resulted in substantial labor savings.
The Raytheon Advanced Products Center (APC) is an award winning site that deploysa high level of automation to provide enabling technologies for Raytheon’s product base. APC is comprised of three main facilities: RF Microelectronics (RFME), RF Products and Components (RFPC), and RF Subsystems and Integration (RFSI). As you will read in the feature article, “Raytheon Advanced Products Center – RF Subsystem Manufacturing and Integration Excellence,” these facilities use a commercial best practice known as a tiered accountability system to drive collaboration and predictability of execution.
For today and tomorrow, Raytheon continues to research and apply new automation technologies to manufacturing, ensuring affordable, quality products for our global customers.
Rapid Prototyping and Design Aids
Methods such as rapid prototyping and technologies such as the CAVE Automated Virtual Environment (CAVE) and next-generation CAVE2™enable improvements in production design and product upgrades. Design for Manufacturability Assessments (DFMAs) can be run from our CAVE and CAVE2-based Immersive Design Centers (IDCs) in Tucson, Ariz., and Andover, Mass. (see Figure 3), to increase the speed of making affordability improvements to our products. In addition, our IDCs support many other virtual prototyping and manufacturing design activities including, supplier and customer engagements, virtual prototyping to validate manufacturing and assembly processes, human factors analyses, virtual maintainability demonstrations, facility layouts and virtual training. The feature article, “Visual Immersion for Virtual Design and Manufacturing,” highlights our CAVE IDCs and how Raytheon uses virtual immersion in its product designs and manufacturing processes.
Another example of the value of three-dimensional (3D) modeling and virtual prototyping is described in the feature article, “D-RAPCON 3D Virtual Prototyping Environment.” The article describes the development of a virtual prototype for the Deployable Radar Approach Control (D-RAPCON) system, Raytheon’s “air traffic control system in a box” (see Figure 4). The virtual prototype allowed customers and design engineers to move, virtually, around and inside the shelter to refine system requirements and the design, all in a virtual 3D environment before any actual hardware had been built.
Virtual prototyping continues to grow in importance as a valuable design capability, but customers still require physical prototype demonstrations and evaluations of new products prior to committing to full Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD). Rapid prototype development to support urgent customer needs or early system evaluations is an important type of prototyping that exists across Raytheon. These rapid prototyping facilities vary from self-contained, co-located facilities capable of designing and manufacturing specific types of prototype systems, to quickturn processes that use existing production capabilities within a larger conventional manufacturing facility. The feature article, “Integrated Rapid Prototyping at Raytheon,” highlights three such Raytheon facilities including the Rancho Innovations Center (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) that specializes in the design, fabrication and testing of microwave systems.
Additive Manufacturing (AM), also referred to as 3D printing, offers another improvement to rapid prototyping and design aids. As detailed in the featured article, “Additive Manufacturing at Raytheon,” the company is using AM in several areas, including the manufacture of product assembly tools and fixtures, unmanned underwater wehicles (see Figure 5), novel thermal management solutions, and the manufacture of missile parts. AM can reduce early production costs and cycle times as well as create complex geometries not possible through conventional manufacturing. These advantages make AM ideal for prototyping and for low-volume production.
Advanced Manufacturing Methods and Processes
New manufacturing technologies must be matured before they can be reliably implemented as part of a real production process. Raytheon is focused on increasing the MRLs (manufacturing readiness levels) of new and emerging manufacturing technologies in parallel with the technology development. A collaborative way of achieving this goal is through partnerships with universities and other companies. The article, “Raytheon University Partnerships Help Develop Advanced Manufacturing Technologies,” highlights a few of our collaborations including the partnership with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell (UML). The Raytheon-UML partnership is focused on radar and communications manufacturing technologies, with particular emphasis on printed and flexible electronics, 3D printing and nanotechnology (see Figure 6).
By teaming with universities to understand the basic science, and with Raytheon providing a realworld application focus, both the university and Raytheon benefit from the cooperation. An important advanced manufacturing process being developed at Raytheon, and by others, is the 3D integration of advanced silicon semiconductor wafers and radio frequency (RF) devices. This complex advanced manufacturing process is detailed in the feature article, “Multilevel Wafer Stacking for 3D Circuit Integration.” The direct bond hybridization wafer-level packaging approach is described including process performance results (see Figure 7). Through this advanced manufacturing approach, significant benefits in device size, weight, power and cost can be achieved.
Our last feature article, “Vertically Integrated HgCdTe-based Sensor Manufacturing,” describes a vertically integrated manufacturing process for developing mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) focal plane arrays (FPAs). The process was developed at Raytheon Vision Systems (RVS) and starts with the raw materials and extends to the completed FPA sensor module, providing full end-to-end control of the process. The approach allows RVS to tailor the HgCdTe material characteristics for specialized applications, and it provides short-loop feedback in support of design innovation and material optimization.
Other Manufacturing Research at Raytheon
The advancement of manufacturing technologies continues to play a key role in the success of our customer’s missions by creating affordable solutions aligned to our product families. This issue of Technology Today highlights some of our current projects in the area of automation, rapid prototyping, and improvements in manufacturing processes. There are numerous other ongoing initiatives in other areas, all focused on improving the manufacturability of our products.
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