Improvement of Hydraulic system tests in Aircraft Manufacturing by applying Lean techniques 2019-01-1901
Lean Manufacturing is generally a challenge across all manufacturing companies. Especially in the aerospace industry where production costs have a significant impact on the overall business success. Additionally, the aircraft Takt time is gradually being reduced to accomplish ramp up requirements. The hydraulic system tests are considered as a production waste (Muda Type I) since it is mandatory but does not add any value to the end customer. Furthermore, due to health and safety aspects, no other production task can be done while the test is being performed.
This research project aimed at performing a Kaizen analysis of the hydraulic system test stations to reduce or eliminate idle time while it is taking place. To do so, an extensive literature review has be conducted to provide its research framework. Then, all the project requirements and constraints were identified in order to generate a design specification.
As a part of the methodology, several design proposals to accomplish this specification are created. In parallel, a reverse engineering case scenario is used to generate a DMU using a 3D scan device so these proposals can be actually integrated into it. Additionally, a risk assessment is conducted to understand the main hazards involved. Finally, a decision matrix is developed to help Airbus engineers to choose the most suitable design.
As a result, pioneering equipment has been developed to isolate the test area which allows working in parallel on the wing leading edge and consequently, cycle time has been reduced providing massive benefits*.
Jose Angel Gonzalez-Domingo, Philip Webb, Kevin Forster