Reducing turn-round variability through the application of six sigma in aerospace MRO facilities
Thomas, Andrew J.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline the application of a Six Sigma (SS) methodology as a means of reducing supply chain risk in aerospace maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) functions. In this contribution the LSS method is used to estimate the economic impact on the selection of the most appropriate maintenance strategy pertaining to aircraft display units (DUs) as well as providing a reduction in turn round time (TRT) variation of the DUs. Design/methodology/approach – The paper develops a SS approach which includes the development of the Monte Carlo technique as a mechanism to identify the most cost effective MRO strategy whilst simultaneously reducing variability in TRT servicing of the DUs. This application enabled the authors to obtain further proof of concept and also to apply a number of focused quality improvement techniques to systematically reduce TRT variation. Findings – An effective development of the SS approach is proposed and the effectiveness of the method is subsequently evaluated highlighting the benefits to the host organisation. The SS methodology demonstrates that it is possible to identify the most cost effective MRO strategy and thus suggests a suitable DU replacement policy which in turn allows engineers to develop the appropriate maintenance schedules for the company. Practical implications – The design, development and implementation of this SS methodology offers an approach to achieving a more cost effective MRO strategy whilst reducing TRT variability which can lead to greater predictability of operations which in turn enables the company to effectively synchronise supply with demand. The paper offers practicing maintenance managers and engineers a practical example for increasing productive efficiency and output. Originality/value – This SS strategy contributes to the existing knowledge base on maintenance systems and subsequently disseminates this information in order to provide impetus, guidance and support towards increasing the development companies in an attempt to move the UK manufacturing sector towards world class manufacturing performance.
Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management;
Thomas, A.J., Mason-Jones, R.K., John, E. and Davies, A. (2015) 'Reducing Turn-Round Variability Through the Application of Six Sigma in Aerospace MRO Facilities', Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 26 (3)
This article has been published by Emerald in the Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management. The final published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-05-2013-0052
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