Cover image for Breaking the cost barrier : a proven approach to managing and implementing lean manufacturing
Breaking the cost barrier : a proven approach to managing and implementing lean manufacturing
Ruffa, Stephen A., 1961-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : John Wiley & Sons, 2000.
Physical Description:
viii, 273 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TS155 .R745 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"Success is often the culmination of a series of lesser knownaccomplishments." -Stephen A. Ruffa and Michael J.Perozziello

In the Muroc, California desert over fifty years ago, a team ofcontractors and government engineers along with a daring young testpilot named Chuck Yeager achieved the seemingly impossible andbroke the sound barrier. It was a brilliant, selfless team effort;one that opened the doors for limitless advances in aviation.

Yet, once again, this industry is faced with an apparentlyinsurmountable barrier; not one of performance, but of cost. Tobreak this barrier, a team of manufacturing professionals led bythe Department of Defense''s Stephen Ruffa-was given unprecedentedaccess by the giants of military and commercial aircraft enginesand avionics production. Their mission? Go beyond the age old focuson flying farther, faster, and higher to discover how toeffectively and permanently slash the cost of producing aircraft toallow this industry to continue its rapid pace ofadvancement.

The results of their study set the stage for a new approach thatwill again change the face of this industry. These findings laudedby leaders across the industry and comprehensively explored inBreaking the Cost Barrier prove that production variation, asopposed to more common targets like labor utilization and inventorylevels, is the chief cause of escalating production costs.

More importantly, they reveal how companies can control spiralingproduction costs by first controlling the variability that has fortoo long been considered a necessary evil in manufacturingcircles.

While much has been written about what "lean production" techniquesare, Breaking the Cost Barrier is the first book to explain how toeffectively put lean techniques into place. It presents the bigpicture on how you can understand and adopt the industry proventechniques used in the lean production environment and coordinatethe best into one powerhouse variation management program. Casestudies and examples showcase how these techniques can be appliedto control production variability across industries andrequirements.

Breaking the Cost Barrier provides far more than just anotherplug-and-play technique for increasing efficiency. Instead, ittells the step-by-step story of how one team of professionals,guided by the belief that an answer was closer than anyonerealized, broke the code on production variability problems andintroduced exciting, profitable, and easily adaptable variationmanagement methods to one of the world''s most important andnoteworthy industries.

THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS is the nation''s largestbroad-based industrial trade association. The NAM is headquarteredin Washington, D.C., and has regional offices across the country.For more information on the NAM, call David W. Walker, VicePresident, Marketing and Member Services, at (202) 637-3186.

The dramatic account of how a team of aerospace professionalsattacked production variation to slash costs by 25%

Variation Management the identification and control of variation inproduction processes-is critical to today''s cost-consciousaerospace industry. Now, the story of how its underlying frameworkwas discovered by a team of professionals in a cooperative effortwith a range of organizations, from McDonnell Douglas and Pratt& Whitney to Westinghouse and even the U.S. government, ischronicled in the innovative and technique-packed Breaking the CostBarrier.

This fast-paced, highly entertaining book gives you abehind-the-scenes look at how you can design and implement a systemto successfully control production variability and leverage thepower of that system for your own organization. It describes whatmany of the components of a variability control system are and whatgoals they should achieve, then demonstrates from the inside outwhy each comprises an important part in the puzzle.

Author Notes

STEPHEN A. RUFFA is a senior manager in the Department of Defenseand an authority on the subject of cost effectiveness inmanufacturing. His experience spearheading a joint research programbetween government and industry led to his identification of theprinciple of variation management, and is the basis of Breaking theCost Barrier.

MICHAEL J. PEROZZIELLO was a part of Stephen Ruffa's team on theproject that was essential to the findings of this book.Perozziello has engineering experience on multiple tacticalaircraft programs.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
1 An Opportunity for Advancementp. 7
2 The Evolution of Manufacturing in the Aircraft Industryp. 25
3 A Study in Manufacturing Affordabilityp. 47
4 The Principle of Variation Managementp. 73
5 Production and Inventory Control: The Cornerstone Enablersp. 93
6 The Impact of Production Flow and Quality Enhancementsp. 115
7 Improved Supplier Responsivenessp. 141
8 The Role of Product Designp. 161
9 The Culture of Manufacturingp. 185
10 Changing the Paradigmp. 205
11 A Final Note...p. 217
Appendixp. 223
Notesp. 235