Lean Solution Slashes Lead Time and Improves Competitiveness for Helicopter Component Overhaul

The Challenge

helicopters on ground
The cost of having advanced helicopters on the ground out of service is enormous.

Our client is a leading precision engineering company focused on the defence and aerospace sectors. Their customer was operating an advanced helicopter in a demanding marine environment. This environment was causing corrosion of key operating components in the helicopter, leading to frequent repairs and low service availability of the aircraft. Lead times for overhaul of the most critical components were between six months and one year. Our client had the opportunity to take over the  overhaul of these components provided they could meet their client’s demanding lead time and quality requirements.

The Solution

TXM mapped the complex end to end repair and overhaul process using a value stream map. The map encompassed both physical repair processes as well as the considerable documentation requirements associated with aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). We enabled the team to eliminate and combine process steps, while maintaining compliance. We also coached  the team to develop tools to better manage and balance workload and resources throughout the overhaul process. The team were introduced to daily problem solving techniques and daily managment routines that enabled them to communicate better and identify and address the root cause of problems as they occur.

“The [TXM] on the shop floor coaching style meant the crew lost no time to create the gains as the easy improvements freed up time immediately.  Some of this time was then used to identify the harder wins and make them stick”

The Results

Overhaul lead time was reduced from 161 days to 74 days. This compared with over 300 days for a competitor previously doing the work. For the end customer, this meant that the downtime for the helicopters could be minimized while also avoiding the need to increase the number of rotatable parts, saving millions of dollars per year.

Read Another Case Study about How TXM Transformed MRO Practices in Coal Mining