This year at AeroDef I had the privilege to take part in a panel discussion about “Industrial IoT and the Digital Twin” and discussed it with many manufacturing executives within the Aerospace and Defense, as well as other verticals. It appears that this topic is on many managers’ minds so here are some insights:
“Quality issues happen“
A Senior VP of Operations of a leading aero-structure company just mentioned to me: “Quality issues happen, but they quickly evolve into much bigger problems if not handled while still small.” We regularly hear about parts, that have made it through the entire (or almost entire) production process, only to be discovered then as having expired or defective material in a quality inspection.
Faulty material batch – the “recall” scenario
Another scenario that came up at the conference is when a supplier reports a faulty batch of material or components and that’s when chaos starts. How quickly can you identify all parts, assemblies and kits that were produced out of this batch? Would you stop production and get your staff to go through paper work and route cards until all parts are collected? What would be the impact over your week’s throughput and your ability to deliver customer orders on time?
Disrupting your manufacturing schedule
I keep hearing that many of the processes and machines are built and designed to handle several kits or a specific batch at a time, or per cycle. When you detect a defective part just before it needs to go to the next station, for example, an autoclave curing, this can throw your manufacturing schedule off course, leading to bottlenecks and delays.
“A problem found early is a problem solved”
During our discussions, we all agreed that in order to reduce the cost of poor quality we need to identify the problem at an early stage. As a Head of Quality once told me “A problem found early is a problem solved”.
In part II of this post I’ll be sharing the solutions to these issues discussed during the panel and the entire discussion around IoT technologies and the Digital Twin. Stay tuned..