Satellites are indispensable for modern life. They are used for the global positioning systems, communication, weather forecasting, television signals, and internet provision. We’ll look at applications of Lean and Six Sigma methods and Design for Manufacturing and Assembly in satellite manufacturing and finish with a video on satellite build and launch.


Lean Transformation for Low Volume Space Manufacturing

In a master’s thesis titled “A Lean Transformation in Low Volume Space Manufacturing” author Lincoln J. Sise discusses the transitioning to a Lean manufacturing system in a low volume space manufacturing environment.

The thesis includes:

  • Tool Drawers Before and After Implementation
  • Order of Assembly
  • Value Stream Map
  • Enabling Processes
  • Value Added Processes
  • Waste Processes
  • Required Tooling and Material Inspections
  • TAKT Time Consideration
  • Operator Flexibility and Limitations
  • Room Layout for Production Lab
  • Production Flow
  • Distinct Assembly Areas
  • Kanban Boards
  • Reduced WIP
  • Flexible Line Layouts
  • Workflow with and without Inspectors

You can read the thesis here.


Lean System for Satellite Assembly

A short article from Reliable Plant titled “Boeing implements lean system for satellite assembly” gives an overview of Boeing’s Pulse Line process for satellite assembly.

"With this new process, we are reducing the travel distance of a space vehicle from 12,000 feet to 10,000 feet,"

You can read the article here.


Using Design for Manufacturing (DFM), Lean, and Six Sigma Effectively

In a short article from Reliable Plant titled “Using DFM, Lean and Six Sigma Effectively” author Darren Dolcemascolo gives a practical example of how Design For Manufacturability, Lean, and Six Sigma can be used in combination.

NOTE: “Design for Manufacturing (DFM) is the process of designing parts, components or products for ease of manufacturing with an end goal of making a better product at a lower cost”*


You can read the short article here.


Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA ): A Complement for Lean

In an article titled “DFMA vs. Lean” author David M. Vranson discusses how Design for Manufacturing and Assembly can remove wastes ahead of the design release. DFMA upfront can reduce issues that were otherwise built in that Lean may have flagged after the fact.

The author uses a valve assembly as an example. And by looking at each of the seven wastes with respect to a redesign of the valve assembly, he shows how DFMA can complement Lean Manufacturing.

You can read the article here.


Space Satellite Build and Launch Process

See how satellite communication satellites are built and launched in a video from Science.

You can watch the video here.




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