Lockheed opens new satellite production center.

Author:Kilmer, Graham
Position:Global Defense

* Lockheed Martin opened in July the Radio Frequency Payload Center for Excellence, a new Denver-based facility aimed at streamlining satellite spacecraft production.

The company has invested millions of dollars in staff with expertise spanning all areas of spacecraft production to be jointly located at the new facility, said Sam Valenti, the center's director.

Prior to opening the center, transporting pieces between the various stages of production consumed a lot of time, Valenti said. Consolidating every step of the process in one location has reduced the timeframe for producing a spacecraft by one-and-a-half months, he added.

Production is being aided by the company's digital tapestry software, he said. The software records every step of the process from conceptualization to operation. Staff can access records of a product's design, assembly and inspection using the technology, he said.

The program "weaves a digital thread through every step of the product life cycle," he said.

The 50,000-square-foot manufacturing space allows staff at the center to work on production of several spacecraft projects simultaneously, Valenti said.

"The [center] already has a number of projects up and running," he noted.

Personnel are currently working on a variety...

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