Technology & Digital Innovation

Simplify to succeed!

Work is continuing on the Big Simplification Projects developed during our work-out at Aviation. Under the main requirements established, each project has to have a high impact on all personnel, has to be inter-functional in nature and has to be achievable by the end of 2015. The Simplification Council of Avio Aero, whose membership represents each function, is overseeing a number of projects with similar requirements, called Big Swings. Five projects are currently in progress, and we'll go into further details below about who is promoting and working on them.

The Compliance Portal project is the only one that is also being overseen by the Council of GE Aviation. It involves the creation of an Investigation Workflow and Dashboard, which is a pair of online tools for managing investigations and compliance actions in a structured, monitored way, thanks to the internal network system. Fabio Cione and Simone Taddei of the Compliance team are working on this area.

The ITO (Inquiry to Order) Cost Model is a project being led by Paolo Comai, Avio Aero's representative at the Simplification Work-Out held at Aviation last spring. Its aim is to reduce the time necessary to issue commercial proposals to customers (it is estimated that proposal times can be cut to 30 days from the current figure of 60 days). The project will be implemented in the last quarter of this year. Another customer-oriented initiative is the Workflow project, which relates to Customer Purchase Orders and hence to the requirements specified by customers to the various functions of Avio Aero. The project is being led by Monica Callegaro, who is working with the representatives of many other areas concerned with the process by which customers specify their requirements.

On the supplier side, the Big Swings include the NTI (New Technology Introduction) Suppliers Cluster: this innovative solution (which is much acclaimed by the Sourcing team at Aviation) makes it possible to produce the prototypes requested by Engineering more quickly, while reducing the excessively high number of processing cycles for the Supply Chain. Basically, suppliers (SMEs organised into clusters with integrated technical competencies) receive requests for prototypes and execute them more efficiently. As the project develops, this methodology will enable us to align ourselves with partners and competitors in such a way as to give rise to an extremely advantageous Make Or Buy solution. Paolo Farina, Salvatore Milletarì and Stefano Barone are hard at work on this project. Lastly, Francesco Liverani is leading a Supplier Portal project aimed at facilitating the management, registration and monitoring of suppliers (in accordance with the process standard used at GE Aviation). 35% of the direct materials managed on this portal account for about 80% of our Sourcing volumes. You can enter data in real time on this portal, and the data are then updated on SAP every 30 minutes.

We also went to the Cameri plant, where we met the Local Simplification Representative, Dario Mula, who was pleased to tell us that all personnel at the plant are already highly geared towards simplification: “We're currently working on three projects. The Workflow project for managing prototype research and production programmes has already reached completion: previously, everything was managed by email by various parties; now, with the WF, we can channel all the data (job, quantity, materials, technology, process) and actors together, to facilitate the decision-making process regarding whether to put prototypes straight into production or refer them for further research and studies. The aim of the Heat Process project that we are working on is to combine two types of heat treatment (one to eliminate porosity and the other to define microstructure), thereby reducing outsourcing costs by 50% (because previously outsourced work will now be done in-house). As well as reducing processing times, which are currently too long for logistical reasons, this project will also enable us to cut our lead times. This is a complex project requiring major investment, and we estimate that it can be completed by the end of 2016.