Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 27

Raytheon Missile Systems

Since the invention of the bow
and arrow, success on the battlefield
has been determined by technology as much as strategy. Armies that
bring the most advanced weaponry
to bear have held an enormous edge
throughout the history of warfare,
and when the stakes are high an army
needs to be absolutely positive that
its technology will not fail it in the
heat of battle. As the world's largest
manufacturer of missile systems for
the United States and its allies, no one
understands the importance of reliability on the battlefield better than
Raytheon Missile Systems.
The missiles built by Raytheon
Missile Systems feature the most advanced technology in the world, but
their effectiveness on the front lines
also depends on the technology the
company leverages before those missiles are deployed. As Vice President
of Operations Kim Ernzen explains,
Raytheon Missile Systems has made
a concerted effort to ensure that the
technology in its design and manufacturing facilities gives it as much of
a technological edge as the finished
product gives soldiers in the field. "We
produce very complex systems that
support our warfighters, and in order
to be able to keep up with the demands
from a technology perspective, we
continually look at how we can infuse
technology into changing the way we
design the product as well as manufacture the product," she says.
Through the integration of advanced technologies like virtual reality, 3-D printing and robotics, Raytheon's manufacturing process today
resembles something that would
have been considered science fiction
just 20 years ago. The company's engineers are able to collaborate on a
missile design in the same room even
though they are thousands of miles

West

the cave automatic virtual
environment allows raytheon
employees to see inside a virtual
model of a missile prototype.

apart. Automated assembly systems
can perform the most detailed tasks
endlessly without error. And precision components can be printed to
specifications even the most sophisticated tooling can't replicate. These
technologies have driven out cost for
Raytheon Missile Systems and reduced cycle times significantly, but
most importantly, they have helped to
ensure that Raytheon's products never let troops down.
"Our systems can't fail," Director
of Public Relations and Community
Relations John Patterson says. "The
stakes are sky high, and we have to
make sure everything is built to the
highest standards."
"No pun intended, we literally get
one shot," Ernzen adds. "So we have
to be sure that our products work every single time."
The integration of automated manufacturing systems and information
technologies into a so-called "smart

factory" is being called the fourth
Industrial Revolution, or "Industry
4.0." By embracing and adopting the
newest and most advanced technology into its own processes, Raytheon
is ahead of the curve and ushering in
tomorrow's manufacturing environment to the present day.

Virtual Vision
Many of the advanced technologies
being utilized today by Raytheon Missile Systems are light-years ahead of
what you might find in a typical manufacturing or engineering environment, but they would seem familiar
to anyone who has seen a blockbuster
superhero movie in the last decade. In
the case of the company's Immersive
Design Center, a combination of advanced 3-D modeling, virtual reality
and remote collaboration has created a design and engineering environment where the hero of "Iron Man"
would feel right at home.
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 manufacturing-today.com

27


http://manufacturing-today.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016

Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 1
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Table Of Contents
Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - 3
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Manufacturing Today - November/December 2016 - Cover3
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