THE primary purpose of “Production Breakdown Illustration” is to speed the production of military aircraft by giving each workman a simple picture of the part or assembly upon which he is working, together with an easily understood description of the operations and tools necessary to do his job. It is a modern adaptation of the ancient device of transmitting thought by pictorial representations, used by man through the centuries.
As developed at the Douglas Aircraft Co., the use of production illustrations has proved of tremendous value not only to the mechanic on the production line but in the perfecting of designs for new type airplanes, the more efficient use of the production line technique, the more accurate determination of material needs, the speedier development of tooling and jigging requirements, and in other phases of the manufacturing process.
Production illustration routines now fall into four major phases. First, during the design stage when innumerable new problems arise as the result of the demand for better airplane performance, the illustrations facilitate closer coordination among the various specialists who have the responsibility of solving these problems. Second, after the design is determined, the structural units making up the airplane are broken down into drawings of manufacturing sub-assemblies and of the various functional installation such as “flight controls,” “hydraulic system,” and so on. Third, the fabricating and assembly operations are systematized and depicted on illustrated “job tickets” which give all information necessary to do the job illustrated by the ticket. “Sub-assembly sketches” are made to illustrate the bench fabrication of assemblies or sub-assemblies and, with the job tickets, to guide the routing of sub-assemblies, material, and parts. Fourth, changes and adjustments are made to correct remaining deficiencies in production routines.
Upon completion of these four phases, the entire manufacturing process is frozen and, except for minor adjustments, production follows the routine procedures determined upon and fully illustrated in the production illustrations.