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ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL'S BOOT CAMPS PROVIDE DRILLFIELD FOR QUALITY

 SEAL BEACH, Calif., Nov. 19 ~PRNewswire~ -- Tucked away in the mountains just northwest of downtown Los Angeles is one of a handful of Rockwell International (NYSE: ROK) "boot camps" where "recruits" are readied for the battlefield of global competition.
 The recruits are engineers, managers, scientists, technicians and administrators. The battle is the same one being waged throughout American industry: A concerted drive to improve day-to-day manufacturing and operational processes to meet worldwide competitive challenges.
 At Rockwell's Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) boot camps, located in key business areas around the country, participants spend two days of intensive hands-on training in the ways of CPI, a system for identifying ways to improve productivity, quality and customer responsiveness.
 Nearly 3,000 Rockwell employees have gone through the boot camp regimen, designed and licensed by a Toronto-based company, since Rockwell began the program in 1989. The boot camp lessons -- plus ongoing emphasis of the CPI ideal -- have contributed to profound results throughout Rockwell's electronics, aerospace, automotive, industrial automation and graphics businesses.
 The boot camps simulate a factory environment, beginning with the customer's order and ending with the product being shipped out the door. In the process, the 16 employees who typically attend the sessions take turns performing various roles, from management to line workers and engineers on the production floor.
 "Most boot camp participants have had experience in a manufacturing setting," said Robert Paster, president of Rockwell's Rocketdyne Division, builder of rocket engines and propulsion systems, notably the space shuttle main engine. "Yet boot camp exposes them to systems thinking, new ways to understand their problems and how to work as a group to produce most efficiently. By the second day, group members are beginning to see the parallels between boot camp and their own job situations."
 Added Donald R. Beall, Rockwell's chairman and chief executive officer, "CPI boot camp is one way of helping our people understand the cultural and mindset changes that are often necessary to succeed in improving business processes."
 That understanding is translating into results.
 At Rockwell's Collins Commercial Avionics business in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for example, employee teams are achieving a 71 percent reduction in factory production cycle time from 265 days to 77 days using the kinds of CPI techniques taught at the Collins boot camp.
 A Collins team that included employees from marketing, engineering, manufacturing and purchasing used CPI and teaming techniques to produce a high-voltage power supply component in about a year, half the time needed to produce an earlier component. The 500-unit delivery to the customer got a 95.5 percent acceptance rate, a superior accomplishment by industry standards.
 "Our whole thrust is focused on improving customer satisfaction," said Dick Fredericks, director of organization effectiveness at Collins. "Our motto is: Do the right thing right the first time, every time, on time.
 "Years ago, like many other North American companies, we inspected quality into the product. Now we build it into the product. We make each individual person who touches that product responsible for whatever they do."
 At Rockwell's Troy, Mich.-based automotive business, CPI techniques are beginning to make a difference in many facets of production, including the flow of paperwork. Rockwell's North American Aircraft unit in El Segundo, Calif., is working successfully in many areas to eliminate paperwork altogether.
 "We believe our boot camp training can be a very powerful tool that gets our work teams motivated and focused on achieving our business goals," said James A. Warren, Automotive Division's vice president of Total Quality Management.
 Other successes include a Rockwell's Digital Communications Division plant in Mexicali, Mexico, which has accomplished a reduction from two weeks to 3 to 5 days in the cycle time from assembly through final test of semiconductor devices.
 At a Georgia plant that produces missiles, product labor content has been reduced 40 percent, supplier material costs have been reduced 10 percent, scrap material has been reduced by a factor of four, rework costs have been were lowered by a factor of three, and overall cycle time has been cut 10 weeks to 26 weeks. The improvements have resulted in daily output nearly tripling and sales per employee nearly doubling.
 At Rocketdyne, CPI techniques coupled with programs in organizational excellence and total quality management are being used extensively to bring costs down. The constant-dollar recurring costs of the space shuttle main engine have been cut by 20 percent and those of engines for Delta launch vehicles by 25 percent since 1988.
 In many of Rocketdyne's manufacturing processes, in-process quality has been improved two-fold as employees search for ways to improve the work process. A Rocketdyne team devised a new, more efficient method for inspecting components. Instead of waiting until new components are completed for quality checks, the team now relies on sensors that monitor the quality while parts are being produced on milling machines.
 Cycle times on some parts have improved four-fold. Purchase approvals that used to take 24 days now take less than two.
 The results of the boot camp lessons are being noticed outside Rockwell.
 Rockwell's Space Systems Division (SSD), builder of the shuttle orbiters, was named co-winner of NASA's first "Award for World Class Performance" for its work on the newest shuttle, Endeavour.
 In presenting the award to SSD, NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin said, "Their commitment to total quality made Endeavour the most trouble free of all orbiters, and it was delivered on time and under budget." Rockwell delivered Endeavour at $30 million under target cost.
 Mazda, Ford, Chrysler, GM, Boeing, United Airlines and other major companies have all recently presented top quality awards to various Rockwell units. Rockwell is the first non-Japanese company to receive the Hayakawa Award for quality from Sharp Corp., the world's leading maker of facsimile machines. In Japan, Rockwell, the supplier of 75 percent of the world's facsimile-modem chips, has a quality acceptance rate for its chips of 99.97 percent.
 "Results like these demonstrate the critical importance of our intense focus on improving all processes throughout the company, whether they involve the paperwork needed to buy pencils or the design of a spacecraft," said Beall. "Rockwell's boot camp has played a key role in our efforts to move ever closer to the ideal of total quality."
 Rockwell International, headquartered in Seal Beach, is a diversified high technology company holding leadership positions in its worldwide served markets including electronics, aerospace, automotive components, industrial automation and graphics systems.
 -0- 11~19~92
 ~CONTACT: Bill Blanning of Rockwell International, 310-797-5819~
 (ROK)


CO: Rockwell International ST: California IN: ARO SU:

JL-LS -- LAFNS1 -- 2651 11~19~92 07:36 EST
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Date:Nov 19, 1992
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