Thursday, July 10, 2014
Strengthening Supply Chain Reliability
Source: Primus Metals
In producing a complicated landing gear system for a test version of a new military light tactical helicopter, Triumph Aerospace Systems - a member of Triumph Group – was seeking a supplier that could make some critical parts in a limited quantity.
“When choosing a supplier, we always want to be sure they are going to provide a quality part, and deliver on time, because we design complex, one-of-a-kind parts that must be delivered in time to meet our customer’s schedule,” says Russell Gibbon, director of Landing Gear and Hydraulic Systems Engineering at Triumph in Redmond, Wash.
Photo courtesy Primus Metals
“If there is a quality problem, we’re in trouble. If they’re late, we’re in trouble. So, we’re always looking for suppliers with a good track record for quality, for consistently meeting schedule commitments, and for having the capabilities for producing the required part using the most efficient technologies,” Gibbon says.
After canvassing the supply base, Triumph Aerospace Systems settled on Primus Metals (Lakewood, Colo.), a Tier I and II supplier of structural components, kits, and sub-assemblies to the global aerospace industry, to manufacture a number of the critical and complex parts of the helicopter landing gear system.
“Most of the parts were very complex aluminum millings with tight tolerances. All of the parts required delivery within a short time frame to meet our customer commitments,” Gibbon explains.
The ability of the supplier to provide complete assemblies, sub-assemblies, kits, and turnkey products can improve an aerospace customer’s management control over its own manufacturing processes.
Such control enhances their abilities to consolidate orders instead of having to facilitate and maintain many supplier relationships to accomplish the same goal. This further reduces the lead times for product delivery as well as drive down supply chain costs.
Gibbon adds that it was important that Primus could work directly from 3D solid CAD models. “In terms of getting the parts faster, getting them made to precise tolerances, and shortening lead times, manufacturing direct from a solid model is an important capability,” he explains.
Related: Avionics News