Lean Manufacturing in the Aerospace Industry


Lean manufacturing is a process that can be implemented in any industry to reduce waste and maximize productivity. According to the principles of lean manufacturing, anything that does not add value to the final product is considered a waste of resources.

Lean manufacturing works in three ways: it lowers operating costs, shortens lead times and results in high quality products.

Aviation Technician

Principles Used in Lean Manufacturing

The core principles of Lean manufacturing include the following:

1. Value:

Value is determined by the customer and what he is willing to pay. Manufacturers using this as a guideline eliminate costs, produce items faster and market them at prices customers are willing to pay. This results in higher profits.

2. Mapping Value Stream

According to this principle, manufacturers look at the materials and resources needed to make a product or service. They are able to identify waste areas and streamline the production process. This principle is responsible for the entire life cycle of a product – from the raw material to the disposal phase. Aligning the supply chain plays a key role in this step.

3. Create a flow

This removes barriers that stand in the way of seamless production. Once this is done on paper, it can promote a smooth process flow and be implemented without delay. For this to happen, all resources such as raw materials, power supply and required manpower must be in place.

4. Set up a pull system

This step is used to start work only when there is a demand for the product or service. This is the opposite of ordinary manufacturing processes where products are made and marketed, whether there is a need for them or not. This can result in too much or too little of a product, leading to additional costs such as storage. It also results in disrupted production and shipping schedules and ultimately dissatisfied customers.

A pull system is better because it is used to create product based on demand and requires flexibility, efficiency and good communication.

5. Production perfection

This principle is known as Kaizen – the pursuit of perfection by establishing continuous process improvements. This is done by regularly reviewing the production process to not only improve the process, but also to eliminate all waste.

How Lean Manufacturing is being implemented in the aviation sector

Lean manufacturing for the aerospace industry differs from the automotive and other sectors for the following reasons:

The aerospace industry has to deal with a lot of government regulations. Parts used have different standards to maintain.

Manufacturing these countless parts requires a lot of precision and time. There are hundreds of thousands of parts that need to be assembled to make a unit. Aviation can be compared to the healthcare sector in that accuracy is necessary – close enough or approximation is not acceptable. To make matters worse, government regulations don’t do much to make life easier.

Boeing North Carolina

Lean Manufacturing Solve (many) problems

Traditional aerospace manufacturing processes have problems such as defective parts, production of too many parts and obsolescence. These issues can be addressed by applying the principles of lean manufacturing.

Lean manufacturing techniques include areas such as:

Power Systems Transmitter Power Supplies for Electronic Countermeasure Systems Discharge Detection Systems Pulse Force Applications Jet Ignition Systems Missile Guidance Systems Radar Transmission Systems

These obstacles are being addressed with lean manufacturing techniques to reduce waste in many areas. The result improvement has been huge in areas such as improved cycle times, quality, assembly and other areas. Lean management also shows improvement in bottleneck reduction, waste reduction, responsiveness to change and improved flexibility.

To take off

Many lean manufacturing and green manufacturing practices have a lot in common. Both address waste reduction and sustainability challenges while maintaining product availability and quality. Other areas where the impact is visible include hazardous waste reduction, regulatory and environmental compliance, reduced resource use and energy conservation.

Lean principles have a major impact on plant maintenance by reducing wear and tear on machines. Using predictive maintenance applications in combination with the others results in savings.

There is no need to replace machines or store spare parts. Lean manufacturing principles can be applied to any manufacturing sector to streamline processes and increase market share.

Lean manufacturing requires ongoing analysis and engagement to work seamlessly. In an increasingly competitive world, applying lean principles is essential for all manufacturing companies.

This post Lean Manufacturing in the Aerospace Industry was original published at “https://www.noobpreneur.com/2022/04/11/lean-manufacturing-in-the-aviation-industry/”


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