SAP > Case Studies > Accelerate Production for Spirit AeroSystems

Accelerate Production for Spirit AeroSystems

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 Accelerate Production for Spirit AeroSystems - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Functional Applications - Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP)
Applicable Industries
  • Aerospace
Applicable Functions
  • Discrete Manufacturing
Use Cases
  • Factory Operations Visibility & Intelligence
The Customer
Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.
About The Customer
Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial, military and business jets. Once a division of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, the company brings over 80 years of experience working with many of th
The Challenge

The manufacture and assembly of massive fuselage assemblies and other large structures generates a river of data. In fact, the bill of materials for a single fuselage alone can be millions of rows of data. In-house production processes and testing, as well as other manufacturers and customers created data flows that overwhelmed previous processes and information systems. Spirit’s customer base had grown substantially since their 2005 divestiture from Boeing, resulting in a $41 billion backlog of orders to fill. To address this backlog, meet increased customer demands and minimize additional capital investment, the company needed a way to improve throughput in the existing operational footprint. Spirit had a requirement from customers to increase fuselage production by 30%. To accomplish this goal, Spirit needed real-time information on its value chain and workflow. However, the two terabytes of data being pulled from their SAP ECC was unmanageable and overloaded their business warehouse. It had become time-consuming and difficult to pull aggregate data, disaggregate it for the needed information and then reassemble to create a report. During the 6-8 hours it took to build a report, another work shift (they run three per day) would have already taken place, thus the report content was out-of-date before it was ever delivered. As a result, supervisors often had to rely on manual efforts to provide charts, reports and analysis.

The Solution

That’s when Spirit’s Executive Leadership Team, and Vice President and Chief Information Officer Jim Cocca set an objective to “lean out” operations from a total-cost perspective and leverage IT solutions. The first step was implementing SAP HANA to address the data logjam, speeding up processes and enabling reporting at a more granular level—and with greater frequency. Before a full-scale implementation, Spirit first tested SAP HANA on its quarterly financial audit reports. Reports that had taken 37 hours to run now completed in only 14 seconds. Cocca then collaborated with Operations leaders to leverage this new technology to achieve their expanded production requirements. This led to the creation of the Fuselage Shop Floor Optimization initiative, which was designed to streamline capacity analysis, assembly operations and manufacturing planning. The initiative also sought to pinpoint sources of process delays using SAP HANA’s in-memory database and Business Objects analytics tools to create real-time production dashboards.

Data Collected
Inventory Levels, Operating Cost, Overall Equipment Effectiveness, Production Efficiency, Throughput Per Plant
Operational Impact
  • [Efficiency Improvement - Productivity]
    Increasing throughput in the current manufacturing footprint at a time of growing demand allows Spirit to deliver at the higher rates while avoiding some additional capital investment in plant, property and equipment.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Spirit is able to get real-time insight into actual costs, which allows them to better allocate their human resources and has reduced overtime by 40% in select areas.

  • With key reports running in 30 seconds—versus the 6-8 hours it once took— the company runs real-time reports 3-4 times a day. And these reports deliver more granular data; instead of the aggregate information they were receiving.

  • BMT (Buffer Management Tool) and BIC (Buffer Incursion Charts) production dashboards have allowed Spirit to realize a multi-million dollar inventory reduction while reducing flow time by several days. Once the company has implemented the technology in all assembly areas, it expects reductions of up to 25% in production flow times and up to 30% in assembly inventory levels.

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