Today, as both defense spending and the size of United States military forces shrink, achieving quality, reliability, and maintainability in weapon systems and their components is of increased importance. Those attributes are now more critical than ever to sustaining our ability to defend America's interests.
This document focuses on producibility - the key to achieving quality, reliability, maintainability, and affordability. It has two sections. One section details the successful creation and management of a producibility program by a company. The second section covers two effective producibility measurement/assessment tools employed by industry.
When we discuss producibility, we mean a measure of the relative ease of manufacturing a product. Unfortunately, that phrase - manufacturing a product - can be misleading. It is easy to fall into the trap of viewing manufacturing a product a separate entity; something divorced from research and development, testing, and in-service use. But, the reality is that manufacturing a product extends across the entire spectrum of that product's life - from the germ of an idea that spawns the product right through its overhaul and maintenance long after production has ceased. That's why producibility measurement and assessment during design are so important; they have to be part of the entire life-cycle process of the weapon systems of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps from design to retirement from service. And that requires a joint effort between the military services and the companies that make up America's defense industrial base to ensure that our people in uniform don't face potential hostilities with substandard or unreliable arms.
While DoD's concern is with the military, the importance of this publication extends beyond that to American industry as a whole and has economic significance for the future of our nation. We are now competing in a world marketplace where high quality is demanded and low costs are expected. The recognition of the importance of producibility in the design and manufacturing process and the employment of effective producibility measurement/assessment tools is critical to maintaining our position in the world marketplace and hence our way of life.