BAE Systems makes training tool for aircraft maintenance

ATLANTA, Ga., 18 April 2005. The Aerospace Innovation Center in Warner Robins announced that its newest member company, BAE Systems Analytical Solutions, has developed an innovative software tool that will enhance training programs for the aerospace industry.

ATLANTA, Ga., 18 April 2005. The Aerospace Innovation Center in Warner Robins announced that its newest member company, BAE Systems Analytical Solutions, has developed an innovative software tool that will enhance training programs for the aerospace industry.

Through its membership in the center, BAE Systems, an international firm focused on advanced defense and aerospace systems, is partnering with Macon State College (MSC) and the Georgia Institute of Technology's School of Industrial Engineering to develop simulation software to train aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) workers as well as those in supporting functions, in lean methodology. Lean techniques reduce or remove waste in the manufacturing process, improving product flow, quality and overall efficiency, leading to reduced aircraft turnaround time.

"This simulation tool will be available to all full or associate members of the innovation center," said Mike Hale, interim director of the Aerospace Innovation Center and executive director of Macon State's Warner Robins campus. "It has the potential to increase productivity and efficiency in Georgia's aerospace industry by educating our labor force in the latest and best practices."

This project builds on a training program offered to employees at Robins Air Force Base that allows workers to simulate manufacturing shop layouts and maximize production. Through computer simulation and lean manufacturing techniques, workers can find the shop configuration that best maximizes efficiency. It also enables workers to test their proposed shop layouts through computer models.

"By incorporating factors such as inventory control, forecasting, administrative and a full range of product support activities, this software will greatly improve the efficiency of MRO operations," said George Harper, senior business analyst and executive consultant for BAE Systems Analytical Solutions. "The shared environment at the center has allowed our company to take advantage of Georgia's vast intellectual capital in the aerospace industry and develop a useful training tool."

The Aerospace Innovation Center is a partnership between the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Office of Science and Technology, the University System of Georgia, private institutions and companies, and the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center. The center is working to develop innovative, new technologies to improve maintenance and lifecycle support for aircraft, help develop new companies in aerospace technologies and nurture entrepreneurial programs throughout the region. The center offers aerospace companies across the country and around the world the opportunity to take advantage of the intellectual capital developed by Georgia aerospace companies and universities.

"The aerospace industry is important to Georgia's economy and new solutions and training programs created by this center demonstrate our state's ongoing commitment to innovation," said GDEcD Commissioner Craig Lesser. "Encouraging the development of new tools and technologies will help our state create new companies, jobs and revenue."

Georgia's Centers of Innovation program, launched by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2003, has developed centers of excellence in the areas of aerospace, agriculture, information technology, life sciences and maritime logistics. By leveraging Georgia's homegrown industries, the state is creating new jobs, increasing investment and ensuring long-term economic opportunity.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state's sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, promoting the state as a location for film and video projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. For more information, see www.georgiainnovation.org.

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