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Lufthansa Technik Speeds Things up with PorscheHamburg Air Field Adopts Lean Principles of the Automobile Industry


Stuttgart/Bietigheim-Bissingen. Lean production processes that have succeeded in the automobile industry are now speeding up the time-consuming overhauling of airlines: Porsche Consulting GmbH, Bietigheim-Bissingen, a subsidiary of the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG succeeded in optimizing the workflows of Lufthansa Technik AG, Hamburg to such an extent that the general overhaul (IL2-Check) of a wide-bodied aircraft, type Airbus A 340-300 will now only take 26 days instead of the previous 36 days. The reduction of the general checks on the air field was achieved by the application of so-called lean principles. The experts of Lufthansa Technik together with the process experts of Porsche Consulting tailored these principles exactly to the special requirements of aviation.

The Bietigheim consultants, who mainly employ methods that have already been proven in the production of the sports car manufacturer Porsche, first carefully ex-amined the entire aircraft overhaul process together with Lufthansa Technik and then implemented the complete transition to the successful flow principle that is employed in series production of the automobile industry. Whether it was the reworking of the board washrooms, engines or undercarriage - all areas were optimized accordingly. In so doing, consideration had to be given to the fact that workscopes and spare part requirement for aircraft maintenance first become apparent after disassembling. At the same time, the dismantled parts are also sent to the workshops for repairs where a bottleneck arose until now.

To ensure that workflows proceed in a smooth and unrestricted manner, the Porsche consultants divided the aircraft up into zones, which must then be processed in a predefined order. Example of the board kitchen: While the module had been removed and overhauled at a central work station in the past, the new procedure prescribes division into numerous small worksteps, which are organized within a fixed cycle based on the assembly line principle. "By precisely coordinating these worksteps with one another, we shortened the maintenance time for the board kitchen by one-half and eliminated unnecessary redundancy. All the while, the very strict safety standards of Lufthansa had to be complied with," explains Eberhard Weiblen, chairman of the executive board of Porsche Consulting GmbH. In introducing the new flows, the team also managed to save workspace and make the hangars more manageable as an added bonus.

The experts of Porsche Consulting GmbH, which was founded as an internal consulting company of the sports car manufacturer 15 years ago, are experienced industry specialists, who focus on solutions tested in practice. In addition to automotive suppliers, customers from the consumer goods industry, construction companies, shipbuilding, clinics and general medical practitioners are among the company's clientele.

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5/19/2009