Boeing Improving KC-135 Stratotanker Maintenance via Lean Initiatives
Boeing Frontiers has an article explaining how Boeing and its supplier-partner Pemco Aeroplex Inc. are transforming the programmed depot-level maintenance (PDM, a major-overhaul) processes for the U.S. Air Force KC-135 tanker fleet using Lean initiatives. It’s a good introduction to some of these concepts and tools, which are in increasing use in militaries and defense firms around the world – and in the USAF itself via Smart Operations 21 (AFSO 21) and other related initiatives.
Indeed, it was USAF pressure that really kick-started this particular effort. The USAF is expected to select the FY 2008 prime contractor the Boeing 707-based KC-135 aerial tanker fleet’s Programmed Depot Maintenance program this month. As part of that RFP, they required that each aircraft complete PDM in about 175 days, vs. the average of about 214 days at the beginning of 2005. Read the full Boeing Frontiers article.