P16682: AATech GE90 Tube Trim

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase


During this phase, the team planned to fully establish all the requirements for the process, including:

The team also planned to determine the team roles and tasks during this phase


During this phase, the team managed to establish the expectations for:

The team also completed the following tasks:

Not Completed

The following tasks were planned but not completed during this phase:

Project Summary

AATech manufactures the GE90 fuel injection nozzle for aircraft. The part in question contains a bent tube-within-a-tube structure, which is the relevant feature to be addressed by this project. This tube assembly is built with both tubes straight, then a manual bend operation introduces the desired angle. Because this bend operation cannot be exactly controlled, the end of the tube assembly is then trimmed to meet length and squareness requirements.

The trimming process is currently performed through a very intensive, manual milling process. When the outer tube is being trimmed, if the tool head contacts the inner tube and marks it, then the entire part must be scrapped. A high level of skill is required for this operation; at present, only two machinists have demonstrated satisfactory performance in meeting the required specifications. In addition, the process represents a significant ergonomic and safety hazard; due to the high precision required of the mill, the operators must bring their faces close to the tool head, placing them at risk of being struck by burrs or moving parts.

The objective of this project is to improve the process by reducing the skill requirement to that of an operator, rather than that of a machinist; to make the process safe and ergonomically sound; to ensure that the process can be sufficiently controlled to produce acceptable product; and to keep the overall cycle time within the current parameters.

Link to 1-page project summary

Use Cases

Expected Use Case

Expected Use Case

This process is expected to be run under a very narrow set of circumstances. There is really only one use case: the part is ordered and the process is completed.

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

The end goal of this project is to provide an improved process for trimming the end of the bent tube assembly that meets the requirements defined in the Customer Requirements section. In addition, this project will produce a work instruction to be used in training new operators in running the process.

Other deliverables include:

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

A table of customer requirements is located here.

The process delivered by this project will meet the following customer requirements:

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements


House of Quality


 House of Quality

House of Quality

The initial House of Quality document can be found here: House of Quality 1.

Design Review Materials

This section will be completed following the Design Review.

Plans for next phase

Project Plan and Timeline

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