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Vol. 56, Special Issue        March 2004
[Sandia National Laboratories]

Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185-0165    ||   Livermore, California 94550-0969
Tonopah, Nevada; Nevada Test Site; Amarillo, Texas

Back to Lab News Sandia Labs Accomplishments 2004 index

Engineering science, manufacturing, and production

Sandia played an integral role in helping NASA understand the underlying cause of the shuttle Columbia accident. Sandia staff conducted computational analyses and experimental studies to confirm that foam from the external tank impacted and severely damaged the wing leading edge on takeoff. More than 35 Sandians contributed to the investigation in the areas of continuum/non-continuum computational fluid dynamics, aerothermodynamics, impact analyses, and material characterization. Sandia's simulations of the foam impacting the wing leading edge showed the potential for significant damage, and were later confirmed by full-scale impact tests. (9100, 1800, 6100, 8700, 9700, 15400)

Sandia hosted the 7th National Congress on Computational Mechanics with a record-breaking attendance of 1,200 representing 36 countries. The congress featured 62 mini-symposia with 27 parallel sessions each day. Cutting-edge applications and numerical methods research were represented. The main objective was to bring together the diverse communities in computational mechanics, promoting interactions between government/academia/industry. The congress was administered by a web-centric database that accommodated mini-symposium proposals, abstract submission, registration, and technical program administration. This tool will be used with future Sandia-sponsored conferences. (9100)

The Test Capabilities Revitalization team completed the design of the first phase of a $118 million construction line item that will restore critical test capabilities and provide new qualification, weapon development, and model validation capabilities for the 21st century. This $47 million first-phase project will enhance the aerial cable facility mechanical testing capabilities and construct a one-of-a-kind thermal test complex to perform abnormal thermal environment testing of weapons systems and conduct fire physics R&D. (9100, 10800, 1200)

The Joint Test Program completed a multi-year process designed to develop a Salinas finite element model to simulate mechanical shock from hostile encounters. A series of model validation tests culminated with system impulse tests which provided excellent data to assess the model utilizing statistical measures of unit-to-unit variability. The data confirmed the conservative quality of the million-element Salinas model. The model simulated responses of multiple non-testable environments, confirming that Sandia components have the capability to survive hostile shocks. (9100, 2100)

ASCI-enabled analysis is supporting W76-1 development and has significantly impacted the fireset mechanical design. Simulations identified design deficiencies and subsequent modifications for meeting requirements. In combination with analysis, a 22-foot drop test in September provided experimental discovery data to reduce modeling uncertainties for the W76-1/Mk4A. Acquired data will also define AF&F (arming, fuzing and firing) component environmental specifications for future qualification testing. This highly instrumented test successfully met all objectives under an aggressive schedule to complete the project before the end of FY03. (9100, 2100)

Before FY01 began, the concurrent design and manufacturing (CDM) program at Sandia had never had a full year with a perfect record of on-time, on-budget deliveries to NNSA/DOE. At the end of FY03, CDM had achieved a perfect record for three full years in which CDM delivered 93 lots with a total of 11,591 components from seven technologies, delivered to support all of the seven weapons systems at Sandia. In FY03, CDM delivered 22 lots, with a total of 2,390 components. (14000, 1700, 2500, 2600, 2100)

The Manufacturing Working Group (MWG) was formed in early FY03 by Sandia and a wide range of industry, government, and university partners to identify and develop solutions on what New Mexico needs from its local manufacturing supply base, focusing on Design-for-Performance manufacturing. Also, a committee of the group is developing a High Tech Manufacturing Strategy for New Mexico. Sandia is seeking to strengthen its supplier base and improve the services offered to its internal SMUs. (14000, 10200)

New multi-tasking machining equipment in the Manufacturing Enterprise has enabled reduced timelines and cost for hardware fabrication for customers. Turning and multi-axis milling capability are combined on these single machine tools. This results in reduced machine set-up and time. For example, use of a multi-tasking machine tool to fabricate a prototype cone ballast for the B61-11 development resulted in time and cost savings to the customer of 30 percent over fabrication on traditional tools. (14100, 2100)

The Neutron Generator Production Center held 44 rapid improvement events in FY03 that resulted in span time reductions, yield increases, prioritization and identification of work, collaborative teaming efforts coupled with streamlined project planning, and 6S achievements. The Neutron Generator subassembly floor was recognized by Lockheed Martin for setting the standard in 6S. These achievements were also highlighted in a successful presentation given to a large, receptive audience at the 2003 Productivity Lean Management/TPM Conference in Nashville. (14400)

Developing entirely new processes, Sandia's model-based Product Acceptance Product Realization Team (PRT) achieved first-ever, model-based fabrication, measurement, submittal, and DOE/NNSA acceptance of MK-quality product into the stockpile. The Division 14000 PRT included members from Sandia, Kansas City/Honeywell, and DOE/NNSA. Diamond stamping the preflight controller product, by DOE/NNSA, established a milestone design-to-manufacturing capability for the nuclear weapons complex. These processes are now the benchmark for model-based work, fully usable by PRTs choosing to employ this modern standard for model-based manufacturing. (14100, 12300, 2600, DOE/NNSA, Honeywell/KCP)

Sandia's Logistics Center and Quality Assurance Center partnered to design, manufacture, and deliver an NNSA/Sandia Site Office- approved Nuclear-Explosives-Like-Assembly (NELA) Transport Vehicle alternative to the NNSA/Office of Secure Transportation (OST) courier services. The process improvements resulted in a customer process time of seven days for the new process compared to 106 days for the old process. Labor-hours improved to 27 "touch-time" hours for the new process compared to 317 hours for the old process. (8500, 12300)

Last modified: March 25, 2004

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