From March 22-24, 2016, GMN Aerospace held its third Value Stream Team (VST) event with BAE Systems. In 2012, GMN Aerospace first partnered with The Boeing Company to hold a VST event for GMN Aerospace’s manufacturing processes. This first event led to the launch of a new designated aerospace fabrication cell. Then in 2015, the second VST event focused on the aerospace quality control department by looking for ways to cut down on the time in between jobs and eliminating waste. In this latest VST event, GMN partnered with BAE Systems to reduce lead times by 50% and costs by 25%.
The Value Stream Team is guided by lean manufacturing and Kaizen concepts, which both focus on cutting waste while improving productivity. Kaizen is the standardization and continuous improvement of processes in the pursuit of eliminating waste. Waste is any activity that doesn’t change the form or function of the product. When waste is eliminated, a more competitive product is produced at a lower cost, which is essential in today’s highly competitive market.
The VST team included the director of GMN Aerospace, the vice president of operations, and managers from inspection, fabrication, screen, milling, PED, and customer service. Throughout the VST workshop, the team brainstormed solutions to streamline the process in question which included eliminating redundant work, decreasing the physical distance between machines, and reorganizing responsibilities to result in closer cycle times.
As GMN Aerospace moves forward with the projects that stemmed from this VST event, we hope to see a significant decrease in lead times and in the cost per piece price of the panels.