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Instructors did a fantastic job of presenting the material. The material was well prepared and the simulations clearly showed the effects of the methods presented. Outstanding!!!!
This was the best training I have ever received in my entire NASA career!
The first value stream we did was for the Manufacturing Demonstration Article. The process allowed us to successfully map out the manufacturing flow needed for M&A Development prior to Flight Hardware build. We made dramatic changes such as modifying the configuration from building a tank to building a LH2 dome and barrel section--and we would use a shortened barrel with 3 panels instead of 6. This resulted in knocking at least 6 months and several millions of dollars from the baseline--without compromising the technical benefits
We used the value stream mapping and analysis to develop our merged manufacturing flow. We moved to a more manufacturing friendly approach using vertical assembly and reduced the Upper Stage through put at MAF by 27 days and a $10M per unit reduction in costs. Also enabled us to properly lay out the manufacturing flow and do the basic facility planning for production at MAF. Great tool!
Lean Six Sigma enabled us to define our development programs and identify tech, cost and schedule issues, roadblocks--may be getting redundant here, but it really was an outstanding tool. You have to understand, the only reason you do development is that you're trying to address the unknowns or provide a way to mitigate risk for these unknowns. This process is an outstanding tool which allows you to identify those unknowns and allows you to determine whether you need to address the known's--or at least see if they are value added.
Then there’is the whole DOE thing, I think plug welding, and hence the whole upper stage welding approach, would be in much worse shape if we hadn't’ done DOE’s to understand the process. No one here really knew how to do it before we had the training. We’ve taken the process much further in the past year than the previous contractor ever did in 3 or 4 years for the last program
One year ago I was only barely familiar with the LSS through brief exposure to the Toyota Production System. After attending the champions class, it suddenly struck me as to just how fundamentally sound this technique is and how if practiced properly it will consistently produce valuable results. The Lean Six Sigma champions class and subsequent practice with it felt so much more intuitive. None of the catch phrase posters, flavor-of-the-month fads or hocus pocus B.S. that pretty much summed up the workforce perception of the previous attempts at getting continuous improvement to take root. The continuous improvement objectives and underlying foundation for them are no different with LSS than all of those predecessor attempts at "getting it". Of course, Deming and the Japanese started this long ago. We have tried at NASA in the past and just could not get there. In my opinion, the difference is in how you learn it. The champions class did it for me by combining conceptual with hands on practice. It is just a better way to teach it. You can almost see the light coming on in peoples faces and eyes as you take this course and experience the power of it through practical application. I am sold on it as a relatively simple and guaranteed means to make our jobs easier, products better and customers happier. My next near term LSS goal is to participate in a joint champions class and work some joint LSS/Kaizen events with Stennis Space Center (scheduled for mid-May) to attack some of our common test processes and help us build on our collaborative performance as a propulsion test enterprise for the agency