Finding the ROI on manufacturing line optimization
Reduce number of production test flights required to deliver each aircraft.
Gather and process data on all in-flight anomalies and recurring failures. Drive cross-functional team approach to determine root cause and pursue corrective action. Develop short-term containment actions to reduce likelihood of continuing failure until permanent fix is in place.
Base2 Solutions consultants led the effort to optimize airplane manufacturer’s flight line, resulting in dramatic improvement of production flight test performance, saving tens of millions of dollars per year.
There are several phases in getting a large commercial aircraft through production and delivered to an airline. After roll-out from the factory, assembly work is completed on the flight line, final ground tests are completed, and test flights are conducted by both manufacturer and airline test pilots, culminating in airplane delivery to the airline for entry into revenue service.
Unfortunately for the manufacturer, this isn’t always a smooth process. In-flight anomalies and failures known as “squawks” can occur during test flights and must be remedied. This is an arduous and expensive process, requiring sign-off by the manufacturer’s Engineering, Quality and Operations teams, followed by acceptance by the airline customer and their flight crew. For significant issues or problems without a known and proven fix, additional test flights may be required to demonstrate that the problem was resolved. This sometimes results in recurring issues that require numerous test flights, which are extremely costly – significantly cutting into per-aircraft profit margins.