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Beyond Lean

TEXTRON Systems: Mapping the Lean Enterprise

By David Hess, Project Manager, Lean Manufacturing, MassMEP, [email protected]

On August 2, 2004, TEXTRON Systems of Wilmington, Massachusetts, embarked on an ambitious journey to value stream map the Sensor Fused Weapon (SFW) product family. The mapping took place with help from the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and the Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI) from MIT. The multi-day event included 25 participants from TEXTRON, USAF (customer), suppliers, and Cessna Aircraft, a subsidiary of TEXTRON. To support such a large endeavor the supporting cast included MassMEP, LAI, Rockwell Collins, and Metis Design.

The workshop began with a one-day Basic Lean Awareness Training session led by MassMEP using a lean training simulation called Time Wise. The class learned all about lean concepts by training and then doing — building the Time Wise product, clocks. The training was focused on the overall objective to accelerate the implementation of lean concepts in the SFW program through the understanding of value and the value stream. The lean philosophy focuses on making the value stream “faster, better, and cheaper,” a primary goal of the SFW Program. Ultimately, SFW wants to deliver more systems to the USAF at a dollar amount equal to the current budget level.

One week later the group reconvened with a goal to build an enterprise level value stream map. The LAI team facilitated training using the LAI Lean Enterprise Value simulation designed to stimulate enterprise level lean thinking. The LAI, Rockwell Collins, and Metis Design facilitators ran the group through numerous iterations of the simulation, each time improving the speed and efficiency of the value stream by eliminating non-value adding waste. Workshop participants then identified the value adding and non-value adding process steps and constructed a preliminary map. This mapping training then led the group to split into two teams to identify the process steps that make up the preliminary SFW map. The meeting adjourned with tasks to collect more detailed information to refine the EVSM.

One week later the group met to finalize the EVSM — Current and Future States. The goal of this meeting was to identify improvement activities, both project and kaizen, designed to close the gap between the current and future (desired) state. The MassMEP facilitated the design of the future state map that reflected what realistically could be accomplished in a 12-24 month time frame. Things like visual pull systems, certified parts, robust designs, and workforce development were all improvements identified on the future state map.

The workshop was deemed to be an innovative and stimulating event, demonstrating the power of bringing customer, supplier, and TEXTRON together for a single cause. This ground-breaking event will establish an enterprise framework for future events. Both MassMEP and LAI provided key links to making the event a huge success.

To find out more about Value Stream Mapping, contact David Hess at (781) 376-0028 or [email protected].


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