Design Stability in a Thawing Environment: Automotive Product Approaches in the Space Industry

Automotive vehicles. Space vehicles. How are their production processes similar? How are they different? How can automotive product definition processes be applied to the space industry and vice versa? Due to fundamental differences in their product lifecycle and change management processes, the answer to the latter question is not black and white. In fact, this question could easily take thousands of engineers down a rabbit hole!

You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
– Morpheus from The Matrix

Katharine M. Losoncy, Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Vehicle Engineering Office at The Aerospace Corporation, and Michael C. Willadsen, Quality Assurance Manager at Mueller Company, will present together at the 3D Collaboration and Interoperability Congress (3D CIC) about product lifecycle comparisons for the automotive and space industries. 3D CIC will be held in Golden, Colorado on October 25 & 26, 2016.

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Presentation Title: Design Stability in a Thawing Environment: Automotive Product Approaches in the Space Industry                                                                                                                

Abstract: Comparisons will be made between current automotive change management and the production process in the government and commercial space launch vehicle sector. Automotive industry cost and schedule controls restrict change at critical production startup phases, as a means to limit the cost and schedule disruption. Hardware constrained by software model changes is inherently a complex chain of custody to maintain. As the digital model has become both more flexible and implicitly quantitative in its data, this has grown into a dynamic data package to manage. In contrast, in the space industry, software development is the focus. Space systems’ engineering focus is on software design, validation, and updates. The culture of expecting the software to need to change is counter to committing to a design release, let alone a design freeze.

That cultural divide: design stability compared to the cost of change is more expensive than automotive, even if hardware is digital data to schedule, maintain, and secure.

About the Presenters:

Katharine M. Losoncy has held positions working primarily on launch vehicles, systems engineering, and Parts, Materials and Processes which has included support to NASA. Before joining The Aerospace Corporation, she worked for SpaceX and Chevron Corporation. Katharine is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) where she is a committee member for the ASME Y14.46 standard for Product Definition for Additive Manufacturing.  She holds a BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University and a Six Sigma Black Belt from the American Society for Quality (ASQ).

Michael C. Willadsen has been a quality professional for more than 26 years and has worked at several Tier 1 Automotive suppliers during his career including Metaldyne, Federal-Mogul, GDX Automotive, and HiSan and his current employer Mueller Company. His current role at Mueller is Quality Assurance Manager. Michael is a Senior Member of the ASQ, Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, Certified Quality Engineer, Six Sigma Black Belt, certified in Lean Manufacturing from University of Michigan, and has served as the Education Chair for ASQ’s Ann Arbor Section for 2 years. Michael is currently a member of the Automotive Division and Quality Management Division of the ASQ.

More about 3D CIC:

The 2016 theme for the 3D Collaboration and Interoperability Congress is Commercial Applications of Model-Based Business Process, focused on real commercial users sharing their MBD/MBE journeys and experiences. Join Action Engineering at 3D CIC in Golden, Colorado on October 25 & 26, 2016. Click here to learn more about and register for 3D CIC.

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1 thought on “Design Stability in a Thawing Environment: Automotive Product Approaches in the Space Industry

  1. Good presentation on incorporating internal process and own lessons learned as it maps to a successful existing model of the commercial vehicle industry where cost and schedule are king.

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