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Boeing Frontiers
March 2004
Volume 02, Issue 10
Boeing Frontiers
Commercial Airplanes

A 'diet' that works: Tooling and Quality trim documentation

Barriers breaking. Minds bending. Waste shrinking. Fat trimming. Sound like yoga's benefits? Think again.

This is what happens when the Tooling/Engineering/Tooling Quality Assurance process documentation team does a top-to-bottom analysis of their procedures. Representing Tooling functions in Auburn, Renton and Everett, Wash., the team has successfully reduced the amount of tooling documentation by 50 percent.

The team includes employees from Tooling, Engineering and Tooling Quality Assurance who were tasked with a leadership role. As a result, these organizations are collaborating more effectively than ever before.

"Working together, we have created a documentation process that incorporates quality requirements and is reliable and efficient," said Vicki Bartlett, Renton Tooling. In one year, the team reduced its total documentation from more than 500 documents to 250 documents, she said.

By tackling piles of procedural paperwork, Leon Chute, initiative manager, said the team canceled out-of-date documents, consolidated redundant procedures and reduced site variations.

With clearly identified goals, the team chartered 14 one-week workshops to focus on standardization, simplification and quality. The workshops each included subject matter experts from various Tooling functions to help think through and streamline specific job tasks.

"Everyone on the team has gone from wearing black hats to wearing hats of many colors," said Marc Lemme of Renton Quality Assurance. "We've taken off the blinders so we can see further than our own work group and examine things from a business perspective."

The simplified documentation process developed by the team was acknowledged as a Commercial Airplanes Manufacturing Best Practice for document reduction by Mark Sanders, director of Manufacturing Processes.

"The team has done a remarkable job working and learning together," said John Hurd, process management facilitator. "We will continue to lean out our documentation as we move further into value stream integration within the production system."


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