To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

An application of TQM tools at a maintenance division of a large aerospace company

E. Vassilakis (Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus, Athens, Greece)
G. Besseris (Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus, Athens, Greece, and Kingston University, London, UK)

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Article publication date: 27 March 2009

Abstract

Purpose

Devoted to a description and evaluation of a selected maintenance process (assembly) at the aero‐engines maintenance unit of a large aerospace company by implementation of TQM tools, this paper attempts to identify the causes behind the defect observed and form the scientific platform for initiatives in a TQM‐governed enterprise and to broaden the principles of TQM for the selected process, prior to moving to a more structured plan that will include the entire unit.

Design/methodology/approach

Process monitoring and evaluation are organised by an application of control charts in order to provide vital information regarding the level of control in the selected process. Quality control data are contrasted with component specifications by employing control charts to provide a metric for the level of the process capability index. As a result a Fishbone diagram is constructed to identify existing interrelations between the causes responsible for the defect observed.

Findings

The maintenance process selected was the assembly process of an aero‐engine module (exhaust nozzle unit) at the aero‐engines maintenance unit of a large aerospace company. Process evaluation by means of multivariate control charts and tolerance analysis exhibited poor results. It was observed that certain measurement stations were out of control, whilst low actual capability index values were exhibited in others..

Research limitations/implications

Process monitoring and evaluation carried out for the purposes of the present study had the form of an off‐line tool. The paper shows that the aero‐engines maintenance unit had no infrastructure for an online process control and monitoring system. Consequently, performed analysis indicated that the implied assembly process was inadequately implemented. As a result, the maintained assembly units were out of stated specifications limits.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literature on TQM in the aerospace maintenance business.

Keywords

Citation

Vassilakis, E. and Besseris, G. (2009), "An application of TQM tools at a maintenance division of a large aerospace company", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 31-46. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552510910943877

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited