Airborne Systems North America New Jersey Operations engineers and manufactures high-quality, high-performance personnel and cargo aerial delivery systems. It also manufactures related products for the military, search & rescue and space & recovery industry.
For nearly a century, the company has set the standard for capability, quality and performance with its world-class engineering, manufacturing, training and service. The company employees 175 people in New Jersey who continue to build on Airborne’s innovative accomplishments with an uncompromising commitment to provide best-of-class and value parachute products and services to its customers worldwide.
Airborne’s products are more than just parachutes. They design, manufacture and support a diverse range of products with safety and quality requirements in mind at every step. Airborne Systems introduced lean methodologies into their growing operations to continue to deliver their quality products on time and in an efficient and cost competitive manner. Airborne Systems turned to New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, Inc. (NJMEP) to help them accomplish this objective.
NJMEP worked closely with the management of Airborne Systems to develop a training program for implementing Lean. Through Value Stream Mapping (VSM), a Lean technique that captures a picture of the work process, analyzes its problems and then creates a new work process, specific operations were streamlined. The project took place over a 10-day period and produced significant savings.
NJMEP also helped facilitate a Cellular Flow Manufacturing Project, a Kaizen Blitz. Kaizen Events are designed to improve standardized activities and processes. They are similar to VSM in that they are designed to eliminate waste, saving time / money in the manufacturing process.
The Blitz used a multi-functional team of 6-8 people from within the organization. The team learned the Cellular/Flow Manufacturing concepts and applied them to a specified process. Through a five-step approach, the team would: 1. Define the current process using of flowcharting, 2. Map the process, 3. Measure the Process performance, and 4. Observe the process and 5. Re-design the process for substantial improvements. The objective of the process is to provide the organization with: 1. A layout of the proposed process; 2. Projected performance measures for the new process; 3. Detailed workstation designs; 4. An implementation plan and actions list.
Airborne Systems was surveyed as to the impact the Cellular Flow Manufacturing Project had on the company. Airborne’s Vice President and General Manager of New Jersey Operations David Seifert, attributed the following to the project: “We increased manufacturing efficiency and capacity which enabled us to grow the business.”
- More than $600,000 increased sales due to increased manufacturing capacity and efficiency gains
- 4 new hires due to growth and new business associated with increased capacity and reduced costs.
- More than $50,000 in cost savings due to gains in manufacturing efficiency.
In addition the company was also able to:
- Reduce lead times
- Minimize WIP
- Improve productivity
The next Airborne Systems and NJMEP project is geared to a new product launch. When NJMEP Field Agent Karen Evanko conducted a QuickView Assessment prior to beginning this next project, Airborne Systems, when compared with companies within its SIC code, ranked in the top quarter percentile in all categories in the 13 section survey.
Dave Seifert, Vice President and General Manager, Airborne Systems New Jersey Operations. explained, “We continue to work with NJMEP, as a great provider of lean resources, to provide training for our people and to continue to improve our operations.”
Airborne Systems is a participant in NJMEP’s Made in New Jersey program. Click here to view their profile!