SME.ORG: “WELCOME, DIGITAL THREAD”

Advanced Manufacturing.Org – 16, October 2017

Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Centre (HHACMC) used to extensively rely on paperwork and cutting-machine original software to create its cut plans and track and manage material, parts and assets as they moved on the factory floor from one station to another.

For example, the joint venture between Airbus and its Chinese partners, which is responsible for making and assembling the carbon fiber rudders, elevators and belly fairings for the A350 XWB, as well as rudders for the A320, previously used a paper-based “travel document” to manage and track pre-preg rolls, kits, assemblies, tools and other production floor assets. Workers manually calculated and recorded on that document exposure time left (ETL)—at each station.

Outcomes included inefficient utilization of material, manual errors causing re-work and scrap, lack of real-time visibility and no record of its impact on quality.

Harbin Hafei Airbus decided to work with Plataine to develop the best practices aimed at reducing the factory’s reliance on manual processes and improving the company’s decision-making capabilities across the production floor.

Plataine’s professional services team worked with HHACMC to successfully implement and integrate Plataine’s  intelligent manufacturing automation software  solution with the factory’s systems. They were able to go live with Plataine within three months.

“One manufacturing optimization solution continuously collects IIoT-based data, raises alerts and provides recommendations that ensure operators select the right material for each job, perform tool maintenance on time, and optimally release jobs for production.”

By tracking parts, material and tools using Plataine’s software, HHACMC can accurately monitor items’ movement on the production floor. Plataine’s software automatically calculates “in & out of freezer” times, which account for material expiration date and exposure time. This automation can increase quality and lets staff optimize material selection and minimize waste.

Plataine’s software solution continuously collects IIoT-based data, analyzes it and raises alerts, such as tools that require maintenance and material units that are close to or exceeded expiration date and exposure time.

For the purpose of HHACMC’s reporting and audit requirements, Plataine’s solution builds a full part genealogy by creating and maintaining the Digital Thread for each stage of the production process. Additionally, Plataine’s solution optimizes the “cut & kit” processes at HHACMC while considering all relevant production elements, such as customer orders and inventory on hand.

During the pilot phase, Harbin Hafei Airbus experienced significant material utilization improvement, as well as increased staff efficiency, while digitizing and automating the production environment. The efforts are also expected to improve quality control.

HHACMC is confident it can now set the best possible processes in place to gain full visibility and traceability over material, WIP, tools and finished products, allowing it to improve its manufacturing yield, reduce rework, and improve overall efficiency.

Argosy International, a supplier of materials for aerospace and commercial applications, supported this project and continues to strengthen its strategic partnership with Plataine to deliver advanced manufacturing to the aerospace industry.

With Plataine’s IIoT solution, manufacturers can trace everything that moves on the production floor in real-time.

The software collects data from sensors that track all assets to ensure operators always know the exact location and context of raw material, pre-preg rolls, kits, tools and layup molds, as they move along the production process.

This innovation works to give operators full, real-time visibility of the manufacturing process and allows for constant traceability.

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