Commercial and international flights are back on track and order books are starting to pick up again in the aeronautics industry! Now, it’s time to demonstrate the know-how of the different teams on the assembly lines. In this article, we offer you a top 5 of best practices for ramping up in aeronautics.
1 – Plan your Operational Capacity
Aerospace industry relies on the exceptional quality of its workforce, and it will undoubtedly be necessary to strengthen your workforce according to the volume of orders. Your main challenge is to optimize the use of your workforce to increase its efficiency to meet the objectives set by the order book.
A dedicated team of experts will have to develop a project plan with a sequence of key steps. Together, they will define the various engineering and industrialization roles and responsibilities and then, identify key equipment and labor requirements as well as project risks and associated mitigation measures.
With professional skills becoming scarcer in the marketplace, it is important to assess your needs and plan your operational capacity according to the human resources in place. It will even be necessary to consider recruiting on the international market. The use of subcontractors is also part of the scenarios. The planning of equipment and tools is also essential because it represents a large investment. Anticipation of needs avoid delays due to long manufacturing lead times (stock-outs or unavailability of material), development, or validation of equipment.
2- Engage your Partners
As aeronautical projects are complex, the involvement of suppliers in the design process must be done as early as possible. This way, they can give their opinion on the feasibility of assemblies and make you benefit of their know-how in manufacturing processes to reduce production costs (design-to-cost). Although this strategy may lengthen the design phase, it will save you money on your production costs.
The validation process of your suppliers should allow you to validate their production capacity. This way, you won’t have to worry about whether your suppliers will be able to follow your cadence increase. To do this, you will need to have a clear idea of your production plan. Thus, they will be able to anticipate their stocks, which represent a real performance issue.
With a supply chain having the right capabilities, the next step is to optimize the production chain.
3- Standardize your Production Methods
In order to achieve a smooth ramp-up and reach your production cost objective as quickly as possible, you will seek to increase your operational efficiency throughout your production chain. The working methods and tools must be defined according to the objective you want to reach to aim a standard production model. Ergonomics is an essential ally that has a great influence on the production rate. This will eliminate sources of error in operational practices.
This work of standardization of the methods is the key to ensure the quality of the operations at the time of the rise in cadencce. New standards will then be set in order to organize a better production model.
4- Identify Bottlenecks
During the ramp-up, the bottlenecks will change and shift on the production line. To be effective, you need to focus your energy at the right places. By communicating each small victory, you will keep the whole team engaged to reach the goal. The tasks of each of your operators will be evaluated in a continuous improvement process and the standard will evolve until it reaches its full potential. If your production line is automated, the valorization of data from connectivity on all of your equipment will be a precious help in finding ways to improve. For example, the measurement of production downtime is a significant indicator.
Whether your machines and software are recent or have been in use for several years, it’s never too late to turn your facility into a smart factory. A new way of organizing production means, thanks to new digital and software technologies, generates more precise measurement indicators. Connected tools enhance your data which will also influence your future organization.
5- Train and Support your Resources
Work instructions are reference tools for operators. They serve as a basis for their training and are their references during the execution of their tasks. Digitization of documentation allows quick accessibility, facilitates communication and updates for the team in place and future employees. It is therefore a priority, especially since all the intelligence accumulated during the different projects must be saved. They are the collection of the organization’s know-how.
MERKUR is a firm of experts in manufacturing performance and innovation and has been doing so for over 25 years. From strategy to execution, its sole objective is to make Quebec’s manufacturing companies more efficient by offering innovative solutions in product development, operational excellence, manufacturing engineering, automation and smart factory. Merkur is proud to contribute to innovation and productivity in Quebec!
KHROME PRODUCT TRANSPORT is a manufacturing integrator located in Drummondville specialized in the design and manufacturing of train car interiors and exteriors. Its strength comes from its great engineering capacity and its manufacturing agility. Among its customer portfolio, there are major manufacturers such as Alstom, Bombardier Transportation and Kawasaki Rail Car.
SYNKRO is a software developed by Merkur and designed specifically for high-performance manufacturers. It collects, classifies, and distributes the right data to the right people at the right time. SYNKRO gives you a real vision of your operations. SYNKRO is the software solution that finally connects your floor and your offices