About 500 people work at the plant, where large and small aerospace subassemblies are built using Class-C production components. These assemblies are then shipped to Airbus, Dassault, Bombardier, Embraer and other aerospace OEMs in France, Europe and the United States.
For many years, the fasteners used by Figeac Aero’s assemblers were purchased on a per-piece basis, stored in a central warehouse and brought to the assembly line as needed.
This approach often led to work stoppages on the assembly line.
In 2010, Figeac Aero decided to improve their handling of fasteners and washers used in manufacturing. They worked with Anixter Inc. and implemented a material management program called Ready Material Management Services.
The program is two-fold. First, TwinBins are used for inventory control. Second, the bins are positioned next to the assembly line, and, in some cases, incorporated into the assembly line itself.
A TwinBin consists of upper and lower bins made of durable plastic with a divider in between. The bins come in single (147 millimeters), double (285 millimeters) or triple (435 millimeters) widths and have a depth of 110 millimeters.
TwinBins are placed at every location on the assembly line where a fastener is installed. The bottom bin is the one that assemblers draw product from throughout the day. When full, it holds one month’s inventory of that particular fastener or accompanying washer. The top bin is the reserve inventory, and it also holds a one-month supply.
When the bottom bin is empty, the assembler pulls on the divider so the reserve inventory falls into the bottom bin. At the same time, an orange flag at the front of the top bin is raised to create a visual cue that the bin is empty.
Once or twice a week, as needed, a Figeac Aero worker inspects the bins and scans the bar codes of those with their flags in the up position. After scanning, information from the scanner is sent to Anixter to request replenishment.
The Figeac Aero worker places the new product in the top bins that are empty and lowers the orange flags. These TwinBins now have a full two-month supply of fasteners or washers.
Assemblers like the system because it keeps parts, subassemblies, fasteners and washers close by-minimizing their movement, increasing productivity and reducing cross flow in the plant.
For more information on material management programs, call 800-264-9837 or visit www.anixter.com.