Lean operations, no matter for what industry, business implemented and dependent and meant to succeed by and for the maximum possible advantages to the human factors. Here as the topic states we shall relate the human factors to the aviation and aerospace industry, but before we do that in the introduction we shall in general terms define what lean period stands for. The integration of human and technology after identifying and eliminating of non-valued additional work for production through a dynamic process that translates end goals with smooth flow, pull and zero wastage.
The dynamic process is from the initially planned stage to its conclusion through the usage of the best technology available and involvement of the entire organization within the aviation and aerospace industry – inclusive and dependent on the human factors therein. Examples of some of the lean tools used are the “pull, push and flow system, the setup reduction, visual control, capacity usage planning tools and the continuous training of the manpower and the upgrading of technologies” among other things.
Support capabilities in manufacturing are dependent on “the best technological equipment, effective and quality assured processes and quality conscious team players”. And the results aimed at should be products or services built with and for precision and consistency, of highest quality that provide value with on-time delivery to customers and ensuring to become suppliers of choice to them. And as the final touch to, work closely with customers and learn what products and with what new features and delivery schedules would be required further by them. Background
Researchers from MIT’s International Motor Vehicle Program for the very time documented lean practices in the United States and in their book “The Machine That Changed the World” introduce lean manufacturing concepts as instruments for the future world auto industry. Subsequently, these concepts were adopted in other industries including the aviation and aerospace industries also. To be competitive in the challenging aviation and aerospace industries, declining procurement budgeting had to adjust to rising costs for survival in the competitive markets.
New acquisition imperatives had to be adopted based on affordability in 1993 when United States Air Force representatives together with MIT, labor unions and defense aerospace teamed up to transform the industry and reinvigorate the workplace through trail-blazing strategic partnerships and reinvest through the philosophy of “lean”. Production methods for all commercial and military products including air and space vehicles, weapon-systems and specialized electronics for avionics and aerospace use were adopted through a number of strategies recommended by research and development programs.
Manufacturing from one-of-a-kind to mass production was transformed to perform on leaner methods but all this was possible through the vital component of human involvement as the key pacemakers controlling the entire operation involved. Although streamlined, yet aviation and aerospace industries relied on human resources to market their products, manufacture them efficiently through supply chains, entire production and assembly lines in factories and supply them to eventual customers.
Factory logic lean operations were accordingly designed to assist managers use new production processes by monitoring demand driven schedules “as level as possible” to draw on internal resources and external suppliers with zero-wastage of time and resources. Lean operations also help to synchronize and provide the best balance for stability and response in all particular environments, for high, low or mixed volumes and steady or volatile build-to-order or build-to-replenishment demands.
This combined with specialized human expertise in tasks such as value stream mapping and production flow designing helps in the acceleration of transforming lean practices into sustainable performance improvements in every stage of the production process. The most critical requirement two points for success for lean manufacturing are the following with their brief definitions, although integrated approaches that directly link actual customer demands to production depend on consistent, waste-free and reliable supplier and factory activities.
• Production leveling • Synchronization to create stability in the upstream chain of supply Importance of Production Leveling and Synchronization Leveling the volume and mix for just-in-time production is known as “heijunka” in Japan and is one of the primary concepts in their production system. It creates the necessary practical level of stability and one of the most challenging lean methods to achieve in present day environments with ever changing volatile demands in high quality product with variations.
Human logic takes over controls to meet the changing rates of demands more effectively. And lean factory operations provide integrated standardized and scalable approaches to reach production levels and supply synchronization. But it is only when these two factors are amalgamated together that the results according to spreadsheets and point solutions are achieved. The human factor is therefore a necessity for timely acceleration in transforming during the early stages the broad-based deployment for sustaining the required production levels by providing the following tools for:
• Establishing as small as possible pacemaker production schedule levels in work shifts over days and weeks. • Proper sizing and monitoring of inventory buffers that absorb demand variability, minimizing carrying costs yet fulfilling 100 percent customer order requirements. • Sending in time leveled and stable projected requirements and buffer replenishment information for upstream operations and supply. • To monitor production and changes in them which could underline demand volatility for adjusting to safe target levels in finished products.