Here at the SpeedNews Aviation Suppliers Conference in LA, interesting comments on lean from Airbus and Boeing:
Airbus - site setup and configuration based on lean techniques are a major pillar of Airbus' Power8 restructuring plan, allowing them to achieve efficiency while reducing the magnitude of cuts in the blue-collar workforce.
Boeing - Just saw a video showing the engineering simulation of final assembly for the 787 at their Everett plant - they are targeting a 3-day flow for 787 final assembly, which is amazing keeping in mind that the airplane is almost 100% outsourced - the only assembly that Boeing builds is the vertical stabilizer.
- Marc from the Lean Team
As a supplier of services to companies in a wide variety of industries needing heat treating (hardening or softening of metallic parts) we see more and more companies that we work with striving towards lean principles. In fact we are working towards the same direction with our ABC (Activity Based Costing) system that we are steadily implementing. It forces us to focus on what the true activities and costs are of what we do and how we can do it better. That level of focus will help us to be better for our customers who in turn have to compete on a global field sometimes. One thing I find interesting is how the aerospace industry will react in just a few years when the Chinese begin making products to compete with Airbus & Boeing. I wonder what impact that might have on what we now are doing as a nation with regards to the lean focus.