Spirit AeroSystems > Blog
Fast Factory: Three Ways Spirit R&D Supports Rate Readiness
Applying Innovation to the Factory Floor
At Spirit, our research and development efforts are first focused on supporting current programs — helping to reduce costs, meet delivery milestones, maintain quality and increase efficiency to meet rising production rates as set by Airbus, Boeing and other Spirit customers.
To understand how we deliver for our customers, it’s important to learn more about the breadth and depth of technologies both Spirit R&D and engineering bring to the factory floor. Something isn’t truly innovative unless it transforms a process or creates a new solution that helps our customer.
Here are just a few examples of innovations that are supporting OEMs. Each of these is contributing to Spirit’s ability to meet increasing production rates:
- Manufacturing Methods— We’ve introduced new fast-cure sealants and coatings that allow us to keep the same factory infrastructure and same tools, but push more product through the cycle.
- Innovative Materials—Spirit created a new all-in-one composite-based spoiler in place of a metallic assembly that is comprised of many parts. The composite piece is more efficient to produce, requiring fewer parts and less time.
- Lean Practices—Across the company, we are continually re-assessing processes and finding new ways to introduce efficiencies. One example is reducing waste; the more parts we can fabricate from every square inch of material, for instance, the more total quantity is delivered, faster.
— Pierre Harter, Spirit AeroSystems’ Director of Advanced Research and Development