A major US original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of aircraft seats, manages their production uniquely in that all their assembly lines are interchangeable and can run different productions down any line at any given time. However, with their repetitive and sizable volume of work, they were spending unnecessary labor hours walking to inventory storage locations to gather the parts they needed to build their assemblies.

The OEM approached Aircraft Hardware West (AHW) to explore efficient ways for their staff to retrieve hardware and AHW concluded that kitting was the best solution. The first kit introduced into production was to support a legacy program at one of their US facilities. Prior to implementation, AHW conducted an on-site discovery of which parts were being used at every point of the production line down to aftermarket final assembly. Post discovery, AHW created the first sample kit, which comprised of sub kits, to support the full production build for all different stages of the assembly process. The sub kits were clearly labeled and could be quickly distributed to the correct line operator with the exact quantity of hardware needed to complete the build.

The kits could be easily moved from line to line and run simultaneously. The first iteration of the kit consisted of hardware to support 9 different production points with a total of 48 part numbers. The production staff were relieved of having to look for parts. Kitting reduced the time looking for material from 30 minutes a day to zero, as parts were now immediately available in pre-packed kits. As a result of the positive response to kitting, the kits supplied by AHW expanded from 48 parts to 252 parts over two different builds.

Due to the success of the kits, the OEM awarded AHW with a sizable kitting project at another one of their US facilities, consisting of 307 part numbers and 21 different builds with a schedule of 475 kits to be built over 12 months. With all items being under contract with AHW, pricing was fixed (with no added service fees), and the OEM was able to take advantage of low-cost competitive pricing while eliminating the need to prepare and package the material.

The benefit of receiving and issuing one part number as a kit versus many part numbers is a huge cost benefit to the customer. With some conservative assumptions, AHW has calculated that with no service charges for the kitting service and with the labor saved from the OEM pulling and packaging material, AHW has provided an approximate $93,000 savings by handling all logistics internally over a 12 month delivery period.

AHW has plans to open another US location in Texas later this year, which will provide even faster delivery of kits to customers in that region of the country.  AHW’s new facility will be outfitted as a full receiving and distribution center with its primary objective to support not only kitting, but also local VMI programs in the area as well.

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Aircraft Hardware West is a full-service provider of hardware and related services to the aircraft and commercial industries with main headquarters in Long Beach, California. AHW believes that a comprehensive inventory management solution and timely delivery of hardware, at competitive pricing, are only the beginning of what they have to offer. AHW can be a trusted partner in the success of your business. For more information on any of our products or our Advanced Inventory Management Solutions, please contact info@ahw-global.com