Operations no longer begins and ends in the factory. Across the aerospace, defense and commercial industries, the fourth industrial revolution is expanding the focus of manufacturing technology and techniques from design to delivery. Raytheon Operations is embracing this transformation, introducing the strategies and innovations that will help shape the future of how we bring advanced solutions and capabilities to our customers.

Today, our product designs optimize automated build and assembly processes and take advantage of robotics, additive manufacturing and other advanced and emerging technologies. Model Based Engineering in combination with the Digital Thread and Internet of Things is helping Raytheon maintain full product lifecycle accounting of our systems; from initial design through development, manufacturing, test and fielding. This information also supplies Machine Learning algorithms that provide prognostics for proactive sustainment and for data analytics used to improve product quality and manufacturability. Driving these technologies and processes is fundamentally a lean operations approach, incorporating collaborative and agile methods that maximize efficiency and reliability and deliver cost-effective solutions.

This edition of Technology Today presents Innovation in Operations, the many innovative advancements in methods, systems and processes comprising Raytheon’s operations. Our spotlight introduction includes a discussion of Industry 4.0 and the importance of introducing new technologies and cybersecurity to the next generation of advanced manufacturing systems. The feature articles include topics from Design for Manufacturing and Assembly to sustainability in our factories and buildings. We highlight key technologies such as additive manufacturing and augmented reality and show how collaborative robots work side by side with technicians and operators in the factory.

In our Leaders Corner, we talk to members of the Raytheon Operations Council about the current manufacturing revolution, collaboration across the company and how Raytheon is using advanced technologies and innovation to meet tomorrow’s production demands.

Electro-optical and infrared (EO/IR) devices play a key role on many sensor platforms that are critical to our customers’ mission success. Mirrors are an important component in many of these devices. The Eye on Technology article discusses two recent Raytheon advances in the areas of fast steering mirrors and ultralight metallic mirrors. Both promise increased capabilities for EO/IR systems and applications. Finally, in our special interest section we highlight Konrad Gleissner, a glassblower, who has a unique role and special legacy in the development of Raytheon’s IR sensor components.

– Mark E. Russell
  Vice President of Engineering, Technology and Mission Assurance