Lockheed Martin's Focal Plane division in Goleta CA needed to increase capacity in its wafer fab and focal plane electronic assembly areas. After generating several preliminary designs, DeHart Consulting was hired to review the factory layouts within the context of lean manufacturing principles and to assist with the overall facility redesign efforts.
The broad range of processes involved were photolithography, chemical vapor deposition, electron-beam metallization, wet chemical etching, precision grinding, dicing, epoxy die attach, wire-bonding, electronic assembly, and functional test. There were a variety of ancillary operations and engineering spaces as well. Since this division of Lockheed Martin produces low volume, highly engineered products for the military avionics industry, its engineers are closely involved with all aspects of production.
The spaghetti diagrams for both the existing and contemplated layouts indicated a confusion of co-mingled processes and shared resources that conflicted with basic lean manufacturing principles. The actual cycle-times were also suffering from the elongated physical process distances. DCI analyzed both the processes, proposed and existing layouts, and developed a focused-factory approach that created individual factories for wafer fab and focal plane assembly. DCI worked with Designh Engineering, Facilities, and Operations Management staff to assure the designs met the needs of all involved. The resulting design reduced process distances by 64% and 83% in the wafer fab and die sub-assembly areas respectively and gained substantial support for the necessary capital expenditure!