Latest Videos

New Yorkers' thoughts on wi-fi

thoughts_video

Honeywell and Inmarsat sent a reporter on to the streets of New York to ask people about their experiences of using inflight wi-fi, and what they really want from connectivity

01 December, 2017


Accessible IFE for passengers with sight loss

ife_video

Bluebox has launched an accessible IFE platform which will entertain passengers with visual impairments aboard Virgin Atlantic flights. This makes Virgin Atlantic the first global airline to make IFE accessible for passengers with sight loss across its entire fleet

01 December, 2017


Visit Our YouTube Channel

Read Latest Issue

What do you think is most likely to become of today's long-haul first and business class cabins? 

Supplier Spotlight

Join our
LinkedIn Group


Industry Opinion

« back to blog listings

Zero defect manufacturing in the supply chain

In the final instalment of this three-part series on Farnborough Airshow, I will look at one of the most topical issues in the aerospace supply chain right now – zero defect manufacturing.

Thanks to the growing demand for aircraft, there has been a marked move away from the World War II mentality in the last few years, where minor defects were tolerated in the production line in order to get planes into service faster. The faults could then be addressed and repaired in routine maintenance at a later date. The modern aerospace supply chain favors defect prevention over defect correction, but what are the key drivers for this?

Supply chain pile up
There are reports that major backlogs are set to impact both Boeing and Airbus over the next decade, with pressure on the supply chain to deliver aircraft only going to grow.

Capacity is already stretched and suppliers are struggling to keep pace with the surge, resulting in billions of dollars’ worth of inventory sitting in parking bays. This has already played out in dramatic fashion this year in the interiors market, with serious output delays being reported by a major OEM. But this is indicative of the pressures felt across the wider supply chain.

With lucrative contracts at stake, suppliers cannot afford to let the slightest defect impact their reputation and bottom line; with the cost of missed deadlines incredibly high. Of course, at low volumes, defects can be managed, but when demand for aircraft is so high, this becomes unsustainable.

On top of this, there are also stringent safety requirements and exacting standards that have to be met for each flight. Pressure is therefore on OEMs to deliver vast amounts of product in very short time spans, to perfection; and efficiencies along the supply chain must be gained if this is to be achieved.

The impact of zero defect manufacturing
We need to look no further than the automotive industry to see the positive impact that zero defect manufacturing can have on the production line, such as reduced material waste, decreased production costs and more efficient designs. Though there is an initial upfront investment to correct defunct processes and get them to the optimal stage of production, the long-term benefits are significant. For instance, due to the fact that fewer design iterations are needed, significant time savings can be gained, meaning the product lifecycle is reduced and components get to market far quicker than before.

The aerospace supply chain must now take learnings from the automotive industry if it is to realize the same benefits. Exhaustive testing remains an incredibly expensive process and there is the potential to inject value into the supply chain by reducing the need for this.

The dramatic rise in aircraft demand is having a major impact on the A&D supply chain, and the words that will be front of mind for suppliers attending Farnborough will be: quality, quality, quality. Innovations that can support and connect the supply chain in these efforts, and move it towards a nirvana-state of zero defect production therefore, will be hot property at Farnborough, as OEMs look to increase programs and engage partners for help.

About Tom Edwards
Tom Edwards is president of North America operations and aerospace at Cyient. He joined Cyient (then Infotech) in 2010, assuming responsibility for sales and relationships at its largest customer, United Technologies Corporation. In 2013, Edwards was named president of Cyient North America, where he maintains responsibility for UTC and for Cyient’s North American operations.

Prior to Cyient, Edwards had a 26-year sales career at IBM, where he rose to global channel sales leader in the system technology division, responsible for innovative programs designed to accelerate the sale of complex data storage systems through IBM’s industry resellers.

Edwards graduated from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY, with degrees in management and marketing. He now serves on the Town of New Fairfield Board of Finance – an elected position in New Fairfield, Connecticut.

 

11 July 2016

Comments:

There are currently no comments.

If you would like to post a comment about this blog, please click here.
RECEIVE THE
LATEST NEWS


Your email address:



Read Latest Issue

Read Latest Issue

Web Exclusives

From our 2004 archive, Boeing invites you to step aboard Flight 960 with Jenny, one of a host of fictional characters that Boeing was using to explore tomorrow's travel experience. Jenny was envisioned as a passenger in 2016, so see how today's experience compares…
Click here to read more

Airbus is consolidating cabin design and the passenger experience across its model range with the Airspace brand, which may just gain airlines a few more ‘likes’ on social media
Click here to read more

The Desire Lines concept has been conceived to shape a new future for the aerospace industry – and for Zodiac Aerospace
Click here to read more

The SportJet isn’t just another concept: this airborne sports clinic is part of Sukhoi’s strategy to boost sales of the SuperJet 100 regional aircraft, and it is ready for team orders
Click here to read more

Could a freighter hold the secret to the next-generation passenger experience? A3, an Airbus outpost in California, believes that with its Transpose concept, it does. Let’s give Transpose a closer look – and a reality check
Click here to read more


Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the aircraft interiors industry. Want to see your company included? Contact simon.hughes@ukimediaevents.com for more details.

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the aircraft interiors community? Good or bad, we'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to adam.gavine@ukimediaevents.com

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email simon.hughes@ukimediaevents.com