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Rather, the challenges of the advanced technologies of the airplane, strict customer requirements, funding challenges, congressional attention, and other effects outside of the contractor’s control affected the development cycle time of the aircraft. However, a 38 The Effects of Lean Manufacturing strong measure of the success of the IPTs will be whether the design can be manufactured for less than traditional cost models would forecast. Only time will tell on this issue, after more aircraft are produced.

This means GM had more parts to manage during design, more inventory numbers to manage, possibly a greater number of suppliers, more fasteners, more parts to fit together, and so forth. In short, simpler designs with fewer parts are easier and less expensive to build and less likely to have quality problems. This involves fabricating larger parts and then building up subassemblies from these larger parts. Changing designs so that larger parts are fabricated instead of being built up from smaller parts is known as unitization.

Early on, team members from some functions will have a significantly larger workload than other IPT members. Later, these roles may be reversed. But to be successful, all members must be full participants throughout the IPT life cycle. The hope is that this early investment will result in lower production costs, better products, and shorter product development times. For example, incorporating manufacturing engineers’ insights early in the process means that the product as designed should be easier or less expensive to build.

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A-20 Havoc


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