Technology Today

2015 Issue 1

Leaders Corner




Technology Today spoke with Operations Council members about how Raytheon manufacturing research and technology is managed and the roles and responsibilities of its leaders.

Technology Today: What is the Operations Council?

Jason Elwood: The Operations Council is a group led by the vice president of corporate operations with the vice presidents of operations from each Raytheon business as members. The council develops the strategy for operations, ensuring it supports global growth, provides competitive advantage, and creates enterprise collaboration. The council identifies relevant best practices from within Raytheon and from commercial industries and disseminates them throughout the company to drive competitiveness. An example of this approach is the tiered accountability manufacturing system taken from commercial lean manufacturing practices and implemented in our processes and factories to ensure alignment and accountability of the manufacturing team.

The Operations Council also reviews and directs all company real estate actions including manufacturing factories, laboratories and office footprints. This oversight ensures our process capabilities mature in the most effective and efficient way.

T.T.: How does the Operations Council support advanced manufacturing?

Mark Kampf: Review of new and emerging advanced manufacturing processes and technologies is a key part of the Operations Council’s regular cadence. At every meeting, the Manufacturing Technical Area Director (TAD) presents the latest knowledge gained on new and potentially applicable manufacturing technologies, including topics on additive manufacturing, model based manufacturing, advanced testing, visualization for manufacturing and rapid development and prototyping. One particular focus this year has been to drive the maturity of our immersive design capabilities by actively supporting our Raytheon immersive design centers and the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) technologies implemented in those centers.

T.T.: What excites you about advanced manufacturing?

Barbara Borgonovi: I find the speed which advanced manufacturing technologies are advancing very exciting. These new technologies enable us to provide our customers with the superior capabilities they require to meet their mission objectives, at lower costs, shorter timelines and with higher reliability. Virtual prototyping, additive manufacturing and the evolving use of robotics and automation in manufacturing facilities are just a few of the exciting fast-paced technology areas being used by Raytheon to improve product development and manufacturing.

T.T.: What is the role of a business operations vice president and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

J.E.: The business operations vice president is responsible for leading, developing and executing, at the business level, enterprisewide manufacturing, continuous improvement and coproduction/codevelopment strategies. The role provides leadership and direction to achieve best-in-class safety, quality, productivity and cost performance. The operations vice president initiates and leads enterprise initiatives within the business such as implementing common test architectures, establishing tiered accountability processes and executing real estate consolidations. The operations vice president reports directly to the business president and is also a member of the corporate-level Operations Council. At the business-level, the operations vice president is responsible for day-to-day operations of factories, laboratories and manpower facilities associated with the business and establishing and maintaining the processes and manufacturing technologies needed to meet product deliveries.

T.T.: How do operations’ teams collaborate across the business?

B.B.: Collaboration has become a significant foundation of our culture. Raytheon has shifted from just sharing best practices to working together and defining a single solution that works across the entire company. Developing these solutions requires a collaborative team from across the entire company; engineering, operations and supply chain work together as a single architecture team with representatives from all the businesses focused on a specific new process or technology introduction. Teams are being formed to drive identical solutions for factory automation to assure the best use of our resources. Cross-functional teams were created to take ownership and governance of Raytheon’s enterprise resource planning solution, the PRISM (Process Re-invention Integrating Systems for Manufacturing) system. PRISM integrates supply chain, operations and other processes and workflows in a single business solution to facilitate a seamless flow of information across Raytheon. The PRISM team is driving toward using identical processes and governance model across all Raytheon and is creating a single information repository for all Raytheon businesses.

Raytheon operations has the vast resources of a large corporation yet we strive to maintain the collaborative environment of a small agile company that can efficiently gain enterprisewide advantage of new manufacturing capabilities being developed in the individual businesses.

T.T.: How do you find and nurture innovation in manufacturing?

M.K.: Innovation is intentional as much as it is inspirational. It begins when we bring together the best talent and capabilities to evaluate a need or solve a problem. Sometimes the best isn’t always resident in your business. Innovations are often born from collaboration, and then nurtured by continuing to work across business and functional boundaries. While we often think in terms of products, manufacturing innovations can also be process. Even small innovations add value. Engaged employees finding better ways to do their daily jobs naturally supports a workplace culture that truly values innovation. From small ideas, big ideas are born. You find manufacturing innovation by building a culture open to seeing new ways, and you nurture that innovation by building on collaborative solutions.

T.T.: How does Raytheon keep informed about the latest manufacturing methods and equipment and how do they decide what and when new methods are introduced?

Kimberly Ernzen: Raytheon is very focused on exploration, development and application of new manufacturing technologies and employs multiple mechanisms to ensure that we utilize technologies for exceptional performance and affordability. Raytheon manufacturing is structured to gather innovation within each business, across the company and across industry. Within the businesses, we capture the knowledge and creativity of our employees by sponsoring innovative ideas and embracing projects that are potentially disruptive. We actively partner with other nonmanufacturing research projects to concurrently develop emerging manufacturing ideas and capabilities such as additive manufacturing, making sure that we search technologies that provide competitive advantage to our products. Additionally, we have dedicated technology development teams in automation, robotics, digital manufacturing and analytics within operations that work to continually improve and evolve our plan for the Raytheon“factory of future.”

Raytheon also has corporate technology working groups that manage and coordinate innovation across the broad portfolio of products that we manufacture. We have teams and interest groups that share and develop technology roadmaps specifically for manufacturing. These groups meet, share and harvest diverse technologies and methods which include model-based manufacturing, advanced immersive visualization and design technologies, materials research and additive manufacturing. We have a strong process within Raytheon to support the incubation of new manufacturing capabilities, but also recognize the extraordinary value that academia, suppliers, small businesses, consortiums and customers provide. We maintain active relationships and projects with dozens of groups that promote manufacturing technologies and are constantly reviewing the emerging technologies and processes being developed outside of Raytheon for applicability to improving our manufacturing capabilities.

T.T.: How does an employee or outside business provide ideas and suggestions to Raytheon Operations?

K.E.: A key way to offer ideas and suggestions to Raytheon Operations is through the Total Employee Engagement Process. In all factories, Operations uses the tiered accountability and escalation process to capture ideas and suggestions. Every day in the manufacturing work cell, the team collects ideas from all interested parties and assigns a closure mechanism. So far this year, we’ve collected more than 5,500 ideas and suggestions and all are geared at process improvement and affordability.

Outside businesses can provide ideas to operations through our Manufacturing Technology Network and our TAD. The TAD’s role is to go out and engage with academia, industry, and peer groups to bring the best ideas back to Raytheon and incorporate them into our manufacturing technology roadmaps.

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