In January, we met Yan Müntz, Aerostructures manager at the Air France Industries Equipment and Services department, who had just set up a new island within the company's Helios aerostructures shop for GE90 engine fan stator module (FSM) maintenance. Implemented in partnership with the Engines activity of Air France industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M), this project provided the opportunity to put a new organisation in place.
Could you explain to us what this new organisation which you set up alongside the FSM project entails?
When I arrived at Helios, the management structure was still very much a pyramid, with a lot of levels. There was the unit manager, i.e. me, the operations manager, site managers, control agents, production leaders and then the team.
This project therefore had a "change management" aspect, as we wanted to take the opportunity to review how we organised ourselves, with a lighter, fast reacting and effective system. We have reduced the number of managerial levels, with a production manager who manages their team and reports directly to the production operations manager, my n-1.
The Accelean consultancy agency helped us with this. From September onwards, they ran working groups which brought together the future teams and managers for them to define each person's roles together, as well as how they wanted to manage their activity, in terms of indicators, processes, meetings, project monitoring and so on. At the same time, we asked Accelean to coach the two managers to help them in their new team leader roles. From this we were able to produce an operating charter.
We have also put a weekly meeting in place to get feedback and analyse the week and launch the continuous improvement process. This involves a manager, the most experienced technician and the all Helios activity management - technical, logistics and production - to take quick decisions on the actions to be carried out.
A lighter new organisation, with more independence for technicians, has been put in place with the FSM project. © L. Barnier / Le Journal de l'Aviation - all rights reserved
Are you planning to extend this process to other activities? Is it a pilot project?
I think that this weekly meeting is specific to the FSM project as the technicians are still getting to grips with the documentation, the product, the repair phases, the tools and so on. We felt that it was important to be as close as possible to the difficulties they will have to face.
However, we have started to set up a more traditional continuous improvement process for the other products that we have been managing for several years. This involves a problem identification phase, followed by selection of the projects to be put in place to improve our cost and deadline performances.
To make this possible we, and Accelean, have trained a certain number of technicians in the problem solving method. They have time to create working groups, look for the root causes of these problems and find solutions which they present to the committee after a month or two. This has been in place since October and three groups have already presented their conclusions. The first group looked at the wait for parts at the FTR (thrust reverser) island, which affected the TAT. The second examined the organisation of resources at another island the third dealt with document signature management quality during post-project inspection.
We also had issues with zone reorganisation, with activity significantly up at Helios.
And what about the new managerial organisation?
Our operating methods have been in place for a long time, but it is an organisation which no longer meets our requirements for quick communication. We are convinced that the model which was put in place for the FSM is heading in the right direction and we want to extend it in time,
especially as it is already present in other General industrial department (DGI) sectors and is producing good results.
Would this involve new projects, or are you planning to set it up in teams which are already in place.
We have a major project to reorganise our ERP [integrated management software, ed.] in progress to improve our procurement chain's service for our customers. Here again, the objective is to simplify and automate things more, preventing us from running out of stock and giving more added value to the different activities.
AFI KLM E&M is considering extending this new model. © L. Barnier / Le Journal de l'Aviation - all rights reserved