ENBIS-16 in Sheffield

11 – 15 September 2016; Sheffield Abstract submission: 20 March – 4 July 2016

Improve Efficiency in Problem Solving to Enhance Robustness in Low Volume Aircraft Component Production

14 September 2016, 09:40 – 10:00


Submitted by
Sören Knuts
Sören Knuts (GKN Aerospace Sweden)
Low volume production means that a low number of data is available when optimizing a production process. Hence, it is obviously challenging how products with low volume can meet robustness requirements in production. Within GKN Aerospace an initiative on management level has been taken to achieve a high robustness level in production in what is called “Road to Zero”. Since robustness cannot be taken for granted when production changes are introduced the efficiency of a problem solving process is of great importance and must be a natural part of how robustness can be handled in production.
GKN Aerospace is as many other producing companies confronted with internal reoccurring problems in the production. Reoccurring problems are waste and consume production resources, energy, material, lead time and stresses the personnel.

This study concludes on results from different studies that have been performed within GKN including interviews, survey and review of internal documents.

Following improvement factors have been identified:
1) The lack of understanding and description of the failure defect (within failure report).
2) The lack of problem characterization in description that is asked by the used template of Practical Problem Solving (within PPS/A3).
3) The root cause analysis has shortcomings in how the method is performed when breaking down and identifying the root cause. (within PPS/A3)
4) The ability to handle measurement data related to robustness problems in production, i. e. what is measured and reported. (within SPS-system)
5) A go/no-go approval of parts has to be changed to controlling robustness in production process on a sub-process level with appropriate process data. (within SPS-system)
6) The need of good communication and establishing a unified language within problem solving team.
7) Spare time for problem solving.
8) Operators incorporated in problem solving team and trained to understand the purpose of problem solving.
9) Tiger team to assist and to boost the ability to solve a problem.
10) Management to act as stakeholder of good problem solving and ask for 1)-9).

By improving the efficiency in the problem solving process GKN can reduce the number of reoccurring non-conformances, and therefore enhance the competitiveness and the margins in current business.

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