Aviation industry focuses on Lean thinking at Annual Conference
Prof Andrew Graves
The Annual Plenary Conference of the Lean Flight Initiative (LFI) took place on the 24th and 25th April 2007 in Dublin, Ireland. Nineteen airlines, twenty nine aerospace companies, and four leading universities attended the prestigious event which is now in its second year.This year the conference focused on sharing Lean-based best practices among leading aerospace companies and demonstrated how it can be applied and implemented within the aviation industry worldwide.
Professor Andrew Graves, Director of the UK Lean Aerospace Initiative at the University of Bath School of Management, led the initial session with first hand information on challenges facing the aviation industry today.
Steve Hardgrave, CEO and co-founder of Aircraft Management Technologies (AMT) and chairman of the event, presented a case study focusing on how Skybus has applied their Lean principles and become the first airline to achieve a paperless operation. Steve said:
“The principles we talk about in implementing Lean practices, namely the reduction of waste in all its forms, have been proven to be relevant in many different industries. We view the LFI as an excellent opportunity for airlines to access worldwide best practices in implementing Lean principles with respect to frontline airline operations”.
Don Purdy, Director of eFlight Marketing, Rockwell Collins and Captain Sengkuttuvan, Deputy Chief Pilot for Singapore Airlines outlined how AMT and Rockwell Collins have helped Singapore Airlines implement some Lean Principles within flight operations. Other key speakers included Paul O’Neill, Director of Global Aviation & Transport Services at Deloitte who demonstrated how SMS technology can improve an airline’s ticketing process and TomCaffrey shared his story on how the LFI has helped Shannon Aerospace begin their Lean journey.
The Conference was addressed by two ministers: Mr. Martin Cullen, the Irish Parliamentary Minister for Transport, Mr. Pat Gallagher, Minister of State for Transport, and the keynote address was delivered by Carmine Romano, Vice President Tulsa Base Maintenance, American Airlines.
The conference ended with the LFI Executive Committee announcing that it will host two Kaizen Events in 2007/2008 and will continue to offer LFI participants the opportunity to share and access the world’s best lean practices.
Notes to Editors
The LFI was established in 2005 to develop and promote Lean principles, practices, and tools among aircraft operators, and aerospace companies worldwide. It builds on and complements the existing work of the Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI), based at MIT, and its counterpart in Britain, the UK Lean Aerospace Initiative (UK LAI). The University of Bath’s work with the LAI and UK LAI has been focused on implementing lean methods within the context of aerospace manufacturing. The intention of the LFI is to expand the scope of the LAI in two dimensions: in functional scope to aircraft operators and companies involved in facilitating airline operations; and geographically to an international rather than exclusively American membership. The LAI is also largely focused on the defence side of the aerospace industry, while the LFI will deal more with commercial aviation.
Lean methodology focuses on the elimination of waste, and the efficient creation of enterprise value. Where Lean principles have been introduced to date, enterprises have experienced dramatically improved competitiveness, productivity, and cost efficiency. Lean principles were originally pioneered in the automotive industry, particularly in the Toyota Production System; but have since been successfully applied in many other environments, including such diverse areas as aircraft engine overhaul, retail provisioning, and medical services.
For further information / press enquiries, contact:
Liz Alvey, Marketing Officer
School of Management
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General Notes For Editors:
The University of Bath School of Management has consistently achieved both top research and teaching ratings in the UK's Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) assessments. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), the School was rated 5th in the UK for management research.
We are one of a select number of international business schools accredited by EQUIS, the European Foundation for Management Development's quality inspectorate and the Bath MBA has been accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) since 1976. The School is consistently ranked among the top UK business schools by The Times, The Sunday Times, The Financial Times and The Guardian.
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