The customer needed a panel assembly for a defence aircraft involving legacy parts from exclusive suppliers.
Why They Chose Rockford
The customer has committed to global support of this defence aircraft until the model is due to be retired. They came to Rockford to design a test panel assembly for the aircraft, as Rockford has a proven history with the customer over many years, delivering across multiple platforms.
The challenge was to design the panel using legacy parts that were only able to be sourced through new or unfamiliar suppliers, with the majority being located in the USA. This often involved significant lead times.
There were some issues identified on the first initial build, but Rockford worked through them and openly engaged with the customer via a formal technical query process. Rockford recommended improvements, modifications or solutions to these issues, which has led to a solution being put in place for periods of pre-production and full rate production, and where appropriate for similar future projects.
Rockford’s system solutions are designed to help customers by mitigating their risk working with individual suppliers, and integrating all of this technology into a complete electronic system.
Rockford was able to use its knowledge of the supply chains to meet the commercial requirements in terms of unit price. We then looked at the production methodology in terms of the labour content to see where we could build in efficiency in higher quantities and make sure we could offer the most competitive price to the customer.
Rockford used 3D printers to design the jigs to protect the panel assembly when it’s in build. Our cell layout has split the build into two sub-sections, meaning we can build more efficiently to meet the target for the deliveries, which are quite frequent once they begin.
All aspects of the future manufacturing cell were covered in this process and collated into a 3D working model that Rockford used to validate the build and production rate. This process also allowed the customer to view a 3D video of the future manufacturing cell for feedback purposes.
This project was a collective effort from engineering, production, the project team, and the account management team. Rockford’s personnel were highly invested in the work in order to get the job done.
The customer chose to work with Rockford because of the established pedigree we have with them. Rockford has a reputation and track record to deliver on projects, even when there are challenges to overcome. Rockford is trusted by our customers to proactively follow up on actions and stay on track, thus ensuring that we meet the deadlines and customer requirements.