Approach Overview

M-C Power's approach was to analyze and develop improved stack component manufacturing techniques consistent with established specifications and commercial-scale production requirements. The approach was broken down into four major efforts. The first was the process and technology improvement program. M-C Power formed an Advanced Technology Group to lead this effort. They worked closely with M-C Power's Manufacturing and Engineering Departments as well as IGT and other subcontractors to develop concepts which significantly improved performance and durability and reduced manufacturing cost of the fuel cell stack. Much of this effort involved optimizing current manufacturing processes. These activities resulted in most of the "evolutionaiy" manufacturing improvements.

The second major effort in M-C Power's approach was to develop comprehensive manufacturing process descriptions. These descriptions include all of the process specifications, component formulations, production equipment requirements and procedures needed to continuously produce molten carbonate fuel cell stacks. This description pulls all of the technical know-how together and formulates it into a detailed set of "instructions" which were used to produce the product. This process helped to identify many of the ideas and concepts that resulted in the evolutionaiy improvements.

The third effort involved developing the procedures and evaluation system to control and monitor the production processes. This function is important to achieving a cost effective product It is the link between the manufacturing goals and the actual manufacturing results. Heavy use of statistical process methods was employed during this phase.

The fourth effort was to conduct a Manufacturing Cost Study which would be used to analyze labor and material costs for internally manufactured and externally procured items to develop a total stack cost. Areas that had the highest impact on total cost were targeted for improvements first

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