Challenge: The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge is part of the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Agency. It employs numerous complex manufacturing processes. When a new process is proposed, it must be evaluated for cost, efficacy and efficiency, all tangible attributes of the process. However, it must also be evaluated for Environment, Safety & Health (ES&H), improvement, and risk, relatively intangible attributes.
Technologies Employed: The Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) had created a technology assessment tool that provided the needed evaluation technique. Figure 1 illustrates the concept of the tree of nodes and questions needing to be answered to evaluate improvement, ES&H, and risk.
Figure 1. Top of Tree
Figure 2 shows the expansion of the tree down to two questions. The user selects an answer for each question and the tool automatically calculates the assigned weight and contribution to the overall results.
Figure 2. Question & Answer Input
Figure 3 illustrates how questions can contribute both positive and negative values to the total result.
Figure 3. Sample Question Responses
Conclusion: Working with Y-12 engineers familiar with the process, a new evaluation technique was employed to compare the intangible attributes of the current and the proposed processes. Figure 4 illustrates the kinds of results that might be considered favorable in the three intangible categories.
Figure 4. Sample Results
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