Behind-the-scenes in Thales’s flight avionics production facilities
The industrial expertise of Thales is an essential link in the chain that extends from conception, design and development, to manufacture, delivery and support...
Thales avionics activities covered by the Group’s supply chain recorded exceptional levels of industrial performance throughout 2014. Christian Gardelle, who is in charge of monitoring the performance for a wide scope of avionics activities at Thales, shares his views on these results and talks about the steps forward to further satisfy our customers.
How would you describe the results of 2014?
Thales has, for several years now, been regarded as a benchmark in the aerospace sector for proven excellence in industrial performance. These latest results confirm this position once again. For instance, our supply chain, which serves the Final Assembly lines of our worldwide customer base, has delivered around 95,000 avionics products with a rate of on-time delivery that nears 99.5%. Over the same period the number of delivered products has increased by 6% which makes these results even more noticeable.
What are the actions taken by Thales to deliver enhanced performance and value to its customers?
We will continue to closely monitor all the indicators related to our industrial performance (on-time delivery, on-quality delivery, etc.) and make the necessary analysis and corrections whenever needed.
Another major axis for bringing more value to our customers is the deployment of “lean manufacturing”. This will be an important element for developing our competitiveness and a major change to our ways of dealing with manufacturing.
Our commitment to a GIFAS (Groupement des Industries Françaises Aéronautiques et Spatiales) programme to improve the Supply Chain will contribute to enhanced performance. Started in 2014, it aims at improving operational performance across 400 small and medium-sized companies in France’s aerospace sector. Thales works closely with its suppliers and is setting up specific action plans with each of them in order to meet the on-time delivery objectives, to reduce delays and to achieve a level of quality of 5,000ppm (parts per million, i.e. 0.5%).
We are also working with the methodology called “design-to-cost”. We are aiming to focus on managing the cost aspects of our products and solutions right from their design phase. The objective is to deliver affordable products and solutions that will meet the needs of the majority of our customers and to conduct specific and more expensive developments in response to distinct needs expressed by our customers.