11 June 2012
BE Aerospace reports transformed production on APS
BE Aerospace (B/E) Super First Class Division, which manufacturers interior products for the commercial, business jet and military aircraft markets, is reporting increased visibility and accuracy of information since implementing Orchestrate planning and scheduling software, from Production Modelling.
"Now we can see where everything is across the entire business unit and at which stage," states a spokesperson for B/E – explaining that the system was implemented to manage operations across three sites and two countries.
And he adds that improvements have also been helped at the firm's Tucson site by the installation of flat-screen displays on the assembly floor, which allow everyone to see not just what is supposed to be happening, but also what's coming down the line.
As for the scale of time and cost savings, he says that for one schedule change alone, Orchestrate cuts one to three hours compared to updating Excel files for scheduling, depending on the complexity of the schedule change.
"Also Production Modelling developed a presentation plug-in that turns our master production schedule into a presentation, which refreshes at the end of the presentation and runs continuously on the flat-screen monitors on the assembly floor," adds the spokesperson.
"This keeps our production schedule current and encourages employee buy-in, as they see the demands of their individual production lines."
That matters, because of the complexity and inter-dependence of B/E's manufacturing plants – with seating systems for Emirates, Qantas and British Airways, for example, requiring components from all three production facilities.
The spokesperson explains that process steps range in complexity across the three sites, so ensuring that the right components are in place at the right time had been difficult using B/E's former spreadsheet solutions.
"While final assembly takes place in Tucson, Arizona, this is dependent on operations being completed on time at the company's Miami, Florida and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico sites," he explains.
However, he also states that three of the biggest challenges were in managing workflow, capacity and new business. "The past three years have seen us grow from a 300-employee operation to now having over 500 employees in our business unit across multiple sites.
"We had a separate spreadsheet for Miami, Nogales and Tucson, all of which had to be updated manually, and all of which were on top of the data stored in our ERP system. We had multiple ways of communication to get the same data, but often different spreadsheets had different data, because nothing was consolidated."
"Now, with Orchestrate, all data across each site is consolidated into one source from which clear, concise and accurate information can be quickly extracted which has positively impacted our On-Time delivery capabilities."
"Not only are we now able to schedule more efficiently across all sites, we can take on new business with increased confidence which is essential to our ongoing growth and success."
Production Modelling Ltd
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