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Building it better: Manufacturing by design

The Dr. Stephen M. Gilbert Advanced Manufacturing Facility opened in May 2019. Named for one of our co-founders, Dr. Stephen M. Gilbert, the facility is gamechanger for Dynetics--we have expanded our ability to design, prototype, and manufacture in one location. "For decades, we've been providing solutions to the world's most challenging problems," says Trip Ferguson, Director of Manufacturing for Dynetics Product Development and Manufacturing Division. "Now we can provide full life cycle manufacturing capabilities by scaling up to the requirements of our customers."

The Gilbert Advanced Manufacturing Facility is unique in its ability to provide incredibly agile manufacturing and best-in-class quality. According to Ferguson, Dynetics is much more nimble than most other manufacturers. "Given our foundational core processes, modern systems, and talented workforce, we have the ability to manufacture small and large systems," he says. With sophisticated software that enables automation and operational efficiencies, the facility increases production volume, enables rapid changeover, increases reliability, and houses a detailed inventory system. Our agility is a definite discriminator. "The new equipment enables us to switch production very rapidly and reduce our customer lead time for finished products," says Ferguson. "We are committed to producing high-tech products for our customers with an attention to detail that delivers the highest level of quality, on schedule, and at a competitive rate."

In addition to providing state-of-the-art facilities and modern equipment, the Gilbert team is working to refine Dynetics processes in order to fully realize the benefits of the new manufacturing capability. "We have a reputation for excellence, so we are building on that in improving our core processes to position ourselves to be ready for the next decade," says Ferguson. New measures to control foreign object debris (FOD) and electrostatic discharge (ESD) have been put in place to ensure that Dynetics practices are in line with industry standards--and in some cases--exceeding them. 

Production technicians have established close internal partnerships across the company, supporting all Dynetics technical divisions. Honing Dynetics Product Development processes is one way in which the team in the Gilbert Facility is looking to better realize the "design for manufacturing" mentality that will help Dynetics prepare for the next decade. "What makes Dynetics exceptional is that everyone is local to this campus. The fact that our research and development engineers can walk over to the production line and assess problems as they arise makes us incredibly unique," says Trip Ferguson. This colocation of people and facilities provides a unique opportunity for our engineers, prototype team, and manufacturing team to collaborate for the entirety of the product lifecycle--thus realizing substantial cost savings and the highest quality product available.