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Turbomeca’s Lean plan covers all industrial processes across the engine and accessories repair and overhaul activities. Lean continues to percolate at TechOps. In order to further


standardize work in the P&W 2000-series shops, for example, managers wanted to introduce standard tool boxes. This set off a “very emotional” and continuing conversation with mechanics. Eventually the change was adopted, and replacing large, unstandardized tool boxes with standard tool boxes has freed up an entire bay’s worth of production in some shops, Garrison says. The wheel and brake shops last June made some TOC-based changes, too, and increased throughput by 28 percent, Garrison says. “We’re looking for another 20 percent,” he adds.


Turbomeca Turbomeca UK, a 170-employee unit of the Turbomeca helicopter engine company, in 2007 rolled out its “purple plan,” a systematic approach to Lean on the MRO side of its business. The plan started with a concept, developed by a small management team, to reorganize plant layout. It began as just “squares and rectangles on a piece of paper,” says Brian Penniall, chief operations officer of Turbomeca UK. The team then discussed the concept with all the MRO staff. After two weeks of consultation, the plan was launched. It covers all industrial processes across the engine and engine accessories repair and overhaul activities. Lean thinking led to changes such as how and where to set up tooling, how work flows and how workstations are organized, says Tony Cross, quality and business improvement director. Turbomeca UK also uses Lean kanban boxes, a system for visualizing supply and demand for a product, thus avoiding overproduction. Turbomeca UK has


generated financial savings and made the process quicker and more efficient, Penniall says. And all that was achieved without laying off or recruiting a single person, he says. TAT per engine overhaul plummeted from 140-150 days in 2008 to 35 days now. As a result Turbomeca UK has increased annual engine throughput. Throughout the industrial areas at Turbomeca every team leader plans his workload through a schedule board which indicates the unit of time a job will take. There are daily production meetings, but basically the individual teams are responsible for identifying and solving problems. When follow-up is needed for long-term activities or advice is solicited, Cross steps in to fine-tune the process. The standard is FIFO, with the exception of aircraft-on-ground (AOG) priorities.


Chief Operations Officer Brian Penniall, Turbomeca UK


24 Aviation Maintenance | avmain-mag.com | June / July 2011


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