Lean manufacturing in the aviation industry

Lean production is a process that can be applied to any industry to reduce waste and maximize productivity. According to the fat-free manufacturing policy, anything that does not add value to the final product is considered a waste of resources.

Lean manufacturing works in three ways – it reduces operating costs, reduces lead time, and results in higher quality products.

Aviation Technician

Principles used in lean production

The key principles of lean production include the following:

1. Value

The price is determined by the customer and what they are willing to pay. Manufacturers who use it as a guide post reduce costs, make items faster and bring to market what customers are willing to pay. This results in higher profits.

2. Standard stream mapping

Under this policy, manufacturers view the materials and resources required to create a product or service. They are able to identify waste fields and streamline the production process. This principle is responsible for the entire life cycle of a product – from the raw material to the disposal stage. Supply chain alignment plays a key role in this step.

3. Create a flow

This involves removing barriers that hinder uninterrupted production. Once this is done on paper, it can promote a smooth flow of the process and be implemented without delay. In order to do this, there must be all the resources like raw materials, power supply and necessary manpower.

4. Set up a tension system

This step is used to start work only when there is a demand for the product or service. This is in stark contrast to the general manufacturing process where products are made and shipped to market, whether needed or not. This can result in excessive or very small quantities of the product which can lead to additional costs such as warehousing. This disrupts production and shipping schedules and, ultimately, unhappy customers.

A tension system is good because it is used to create products based on demand and requires flexibility, efficiency and good communication.

5. Production perfection

This principle is known as Kaizen – the pursuit of perfection by constantly improving the process. This is done not only to improve the process, but also to eliminate all waste by regularly evaluating the production process.

How Lean Manufacturing is being implemented in the aviation sector

Lean manufacturing works differently for the aviation industry than the automotive and other sectors for the following reasons:

  1. The aviation and aerospace industries have to comply with many government regulations.
  2. There are different standards for maintaining the parts that are used.

Creating these countless parts requires a lot of precision and takes a lot of time. There are hundreds of thousands of parts that need to be assembled to form a unit. Aviation can be compared to the healthcare sector in the sense that accuracy is necessary – not close enough or approximate. To make matters worse, government regulations do little to make life easier.

Boeing North Carolina

Lean manufacturing solutions (many) problems

The traditional aviation manufacturing process has problems with defective parts, over-production and obsolescence. These problems can be solved by adopting a fat-free production policy.

Lean production techniques cover areas such as:

  • The method of energy
  • Transmitter power supply for electronic countermeasure system
  • Discharge sensing system
  • Pulse power application
  • Jet ignition system
  • Missile guidance system
  • Radar transmission system

In many areas these barriers are being addressed through fat-free production strategies to reduce waste. Improvements in results have been dramatic such as improved cycle time, quality, assembly and other areas. Lean management shows barriers to improvement, waste reduction, response to change, and improved flexibility.

Get out

There are many similarities between many fat-free products and green production practices. Both address challenges related to waste reduction and sustainability while maintaining product availability and quality. Other areas where the impact is seen are hazardous waste reduction, compliance with regulatory and environmental laws, low use of raw materials and energy saving.

Fat-free policies have a major impact on plant maintenance by reducing equipment wear. Saves when you use predictive maintenance applications together with others.

No need to replace equipment or store spare parts. Lean manufacturing policy can be applied in any manufacturing sector to streamline processes and increase market share.

Fat-free production requires ongoing analysis and involvement to work seamlessly. In an increasingly competitive world, it is imperative for all manufacturing companies to adopt fat-free policies.

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