SBAC recruits industry forum engineers to run MasterClass programme

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 April 2000




(2000), "SBAC recruits industry forum engineers to run MasterClass programme", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 72 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

SBAC recruits industry forum engineers to run MasterClass programme

SBAC recruits industry forum engineers to run MasterClass programme

Keywords: SBAC, Aerospace industry, Engineering, Training

The Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) has recruited the first three engineers who will form the core of the new Aerospace Industry Forum. This forum, which will build on the SBAC's successful UK Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI), formed 18 months ago, aims to achieve sustainable competitiveness for the UK aerospace industry via process improvement MasterClasses.

The new recruits are the first three of a total of 12 engineers who will be taken on by the SBAC this year to be trained by Master Engineers from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Industry Forum - who founded the MasterClass programme. Recruiting is already under way for the next three engineers.

The first three engineers come from a variety of aerospace backgrounds: Peter Brodie (28) previously worked at Oxford Instruments and before that at British Aerospace; Barry Jackson (35) was employed by Racal Defence Electronics; and John Muncaster (30) has left Com Dev Wireless Group to join the MasterClass Programme. While aerospace experience is not necessary, it certainly provides an advantage for understanding the unique problems of the industry.

Funded by a recently awarded UK Government grant of £2.5 million, the SBAC Industry Forum (IF) engineers' training will take 18 months and involves shadowing SMMT Master Engineers at the shop floor improvement workshops. The new engineers will undertake classes of their own after approximately ten months. By the time the programme becomes self-financing in March 2002, hand-over to the SBAC IF Engineers will be complete. They will also provide the training for new recruits and continue to develop and evolve the SBAC IF products and lean philosophy to benefit the whole aerospace industry.

Based on best practice techniques from the motor industry, which have been implemented by the SMMT, the MasterClass Programme focuses on continuous improvement within aerospace companies in the areas of quality, cost and delivery of their products. The MasterClass is a 15-day process, taking place over a period of four months, which involves diagnostics and intensive, learning-by-doing workshops with follow-up visits to aid sustained development.

Pilot projects run by the SBAC's Lean Aerospace Initiative (LAI) during 1999 testify to the huge contributions the MasterClass Programme can make to the competitiveness of the UK Aerospace Industry. Improvements are claimed of up to 25 per cent space savings, 15 per cent higher productivity and 90 per cent reductions in shopfloor distance travelled are some of the positive advances that have already been achieved.

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