Case study: advanced manufacturing for complex avionics
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Advanced manufacturing for complex avionics

Future state manufacturing for low volume, high value electronics circuit board assembly

The MTC collaborates with GE Aviation and its supply chain, resulting in increased productivity, on-time delivery and competitiveness at Bishop’s Cleeve facility.

Our collaboration with the MTC allowed exploration of new concepts for cost competitive manufacturing for our future product mix and growth trajectory.
David Rosen, Senior Operations Manager, GE Aviation Systems Cheltenham

The Challenge

GE Aviation approached the MTC for expertise to help them:

  • Increase return on capital investments on mixed product portfolios and growing volumes
  • Apply modelling, simulation and visualisation techniques to define future states
  • Prototype and de-risk new process and equipment solutions off-line
  • Transfer capabilities
  • Support on-shoring and re-shoring manufacturing through innovations for efficiency improvements

MTC’s Solution

The MTC applied a number of their leading technology themes, including: Electronics Manufacturing, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, Manufacturing Simulation and Advanced Tooling and Fixturing, to address key activities such as:

  • Process analysis and developments
  • Closing skills and capability gaps
  • Facilitating cultural change
  • Encouraging a high automation, high integration, high value electronics philosophy

The MTC worked closely in collaboration with GE, OES, SCS and Tannlin.

The Outcome

  • Optimised machine and line requirements for machine efficiency
  • Guided development concepts and de-risked application
  • Generated future state factory models to support scenario planning
  • Demonstrated new automated robotic assembly cell for final unit assembly
  • State-of-the-art equipment introduced for automated solder joint inspection

Benefits to the Client

  • Direct labour productivity has increased year-on-year
  • Work in progress reduction over 50% and batch throughput time from seven to two days
  • Printed circuit board manufacturing competitive against low cost country options, increasing in-house assembly
  • Higher value added per person
  • Established a Centre of Excellence for high value, high volume complex manufacture
…the structured support of the MTC project team and access to the partners’ expertise helped deliver faster implementation and earlier adoption of new practices.
David Rosen, Senior Operations Manager, GE Aviation Systems Cheltenham