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The Commodity Groups work-stream is part of the ASCE2 programme, which builds on the successful ASCE1 programme, and is strongly supported by Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.

The principles behind the Commodity Groups structure has rapidly developed collaborative thinking and cultural change needed by independent companies to unify their combined core capability, capacity and skills sets so that they can form and be recognised as the potential solution to present and future increased rate aerospace demands.

Launched in November 2009, the Commodity Groups have subsequently developed a structure around 5 key aerospace processes:

•    Composites
•    Design & Engineering
•    Machining
•    Robotics, Automation & Tooling
•    Process Treatments – Wet & Heat

The structure of each Commodity Group comprises of multiple businesses which have the expertise and core business focus in these specific areas of the aerospace supply chain. Their aim is to identify business improvement opportunities with which they can jointly engage with to obtain common benefits by evolving and adapting performance improving practices.

Recent collaborative projects undertaken have included:
•    Composite Tool Cleaning
-    Laser application
-    Plasma application

•    Autoclave Efficiency:
-    Improved scheduling
-    Asset Management (reduce breakdowns)
-    Improved stacking process

The RAT’s Commodity Group, due to its extremely broad industrial expertise has carried out a number of “Go Look See” investigations to aid companies with particular manufacturing process problem solving.

These individual Commodity Groups expertise are supplemented and supported by key representatives from the major primes, together with leading expertise from Academia.

Collectively these Commodity Groups provide the demand signals for other ASCE2 programme work-streams, Skills & Image, Innovation and Shared Services, whilst developing the collaborative foundation to jointly offer integrated supply chain solutions via the Extended Enterprise to bid for larger work packages that as individual companies do not possess the scale, breadth of capability and capacity to meet customer’s requirements.


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