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NWAA members were given the inside track to one of the best performing parts of the AIRBUS eco system.

46 delegates took part in the Inside the Prime Event at AIRBUS Broughton in February where they were given an overview of operations.

The briefings were followed by tours of the Single Aisle Flowline (where the final Wing Box equipping takes place) and the North Factory (the production facility for the A350 wings). The vast North Factory is the most recent addition to the Broughton manufacturing complex.

John Gillbanks AIRBUS, Head of Single Aisle Wing Manufacturing told the audience: “We are one of the best performing plants because we are constantly looking to improve. We spend an awful lot of time talking with our supply base to help share best practice.”

The facility has seen significant improvement over the last three years in terms of lead times, inventory and safety and Gillbanks added: “We have a culture where we challenge ourselves constantly to help make sure we stay among the best performing areas in AIRBUS.”

Pictured below: John Gillbanks AIRBUS, Head of Single Aisle Wing Manufacturing

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Looking to the future AIRBUS is investing heavily in Digital Design Manufacturing Services (DDMS) and John Roche, Head of DDMS for Single Aisle Ramp Up Wing, discussed how that involved “lots of new skills and a different way of thinking.” He told the event that there were more than 2000 employed on various DMS projects across the organisation.

Pictures below: John Roche, Head of DDMS for Single Aisle Ramp Up Wing

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Michael Gavin, Head of Supply Chain Management and Aerostructures Procurement Operations gave an overview both of how Airbus works with the supply chain and how the team at Broughton were focused on improving production rates.

He said: “Broughton is a Centre of Excellence for Wing Manufacture. Over recent years there’s been an awful lot of investment at the site and in our people. We are looking forward to an exciting future with passenger numbers expected to grow by 4.3% per annum over the next 20 years.”

Pictures below: Michael Gavin, Head of Supply Chain Management and Aerostructures Procurement Operations

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Peter Hammond, Technical Director from Platinum Sponsor MSP (pictured below), also gave a presentation that discussed the idea that 'Right first time is the link in the supply chain'.

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Picture below: MSP's Technical Account Manager, Graeme Potts, and Director of Operations, Margaret Toberty were also in attendance at the event

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Sharon McDonald, NWAA Chief Executive said: “It was a fascinating look at the AIRBUS operation and their team were both very open to members’ questions and highly professional. The feedback from delegates was excellent.”

Thank you again to our event Sponsors – MSP (Platinum Sponsor), CMCA UK (Gold Sponsor) and Silver Sponsors ELE Advanced Technologies and Hyde Aero Products.  

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