A team from the College Park, Md.-based Best Manufacturing Practices Center of Excellence—which is sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, U.S. Department of Commerce and the University of Maryland—recognized 41 manufacturing practices at Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Electronic Systems sector as “best manufacturing practices."
Part of a unique industry/government technology transfer effort designed to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. industrial base, a review team spent five days at Northrop Grumman's Baltimore-area facilities reviewing business practices and interviewing employees. Of a total of 57 processes submitted for consideration, 41 were deemed to be best manufacturing practices by reviewers. Northrop Grumman was one of only two companies to receive BMP recognition for 2005.
The purpose of the Best Manufacturing Practices program is to create an awareness of best practices used in industry, government and academia and the value they bring to benchmarking and problem solving. The final survey report, which details the findings, is distributed electronically and in hard copy to thousands of representatives from industry, government and academia throughout the U.S. and Canada so that the knowledge can be shared.
"Between 40 to 60% of the processes annually submitted are selected, on average, as best practices," said Larry Halbig, BMP survey chairman. "However, we found Northrop Grumman to be a model of operational efficiency in numerous areas, with 72% of the processes submitted chosen as best practices.
Among the areas surveyed at Northrop Grumman's Baltimore operations were design, test, production, facilities and management. Examples of best practices included the innovative use of commodity design teams, production test cells, rapid prototyping, supplier logistics and electronic component procurement.
"The independent team of evaluators told us we're doing exceptionally well in many design engineering, manufacturing and business support areas," said John J. Chino, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems deputy and vice president and general manager of Enterprise Excellence.
Headquartered in Baltimore, Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector is a leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronics and systems and services.
Source: Northrop Grumman.