Program Manager at Aciturri Aerostructures
In 2014, Boeing assigned us the supply of the Passenger Door Surround (PDS) of the B787 Dreamliner, the first direct contract of Aciturri Aerostructures with one of the two main players in the aerospace industry.
The agreement, which included the manufacturing of both metal and composites components, as well as the assembly of the frame structure, entailed the validation -by the company- of Aciturri's technical and industrial solvency, and of our ability to address management of complex projects in a globalized market.
A demanding program
That same year, our team started the required works of industrialization, tooling manufacturing, and special certifications, all of them required for participation in the program. We work at a record pace to achieve what has undoubtedly been one of the most important milestones in our journey as Tier1 of aerostructures.
At the end of 2015 we made the first delivery of the package, and we started a progressive ramp-up process that led us to expand our contribution to the program. After this, in in September 2016, we became sole supplier and we took responsibility for 100% of the deliveries.
Since then, we´ve delivered 400 aircrafts of these frames, divided into 3 different airplane configurations (B787-8 /-9 /-10). The B787 has now become one of the most demanding work packages for the Aciturri Aerostructures division.
The increase in demand -which was also accompanied by that of the Airbus A350XWB and A320 aircrafts- required us to adapt not only our internal industrial capacity, but also the supply chain, to guarantee us to meet our client's needs.
We successfully undertook it: after the first delivery in 2016 of the components for version 8 of the aircraft and the serialization of versions 9 and 10; in 2017 we completed the delivery of more than 135 aircraft of the three versions, a record that we surpassed in 2018 when we reached 147 units, and that we expect to raise up to 161 in 2019 (rate-14).
The frames for the PDS are the support on which are installed some of the airplane’s doors, which gives them a very relevant structural responsibility. That is why, from Aciturri, we play as Tier1 in the project, with a ‘build to print’ contract in which we manufacture according to Boeing's plan and regulations.
Our facilities in Miranda de Ebro and Boecillo are responsible, respectively, for the manufacturing of metal and composite detail parts; which are sent to the plant in Seville, where the frames are assembled.
Later, another Boeing’s Supply Chain member makes the integration of the structures manufactured by Aciturri in the high contour part of the fuselage of section 46 of the aircraft.
Finally, these contour parts are sent to South Carolina and Everett (USA) on Boeing's Dreamlifter transport plane, which crosses the ocean several times each week both ways.
There they integrate with all the other sections of fuselage (center-body), before their transfer to FAL.
The number of aircraft delivered to final customer and in service by SEVERAL airlines is very high -we have just exceeded the serial number 900 in this model of aircraft- which entails the added need to have a Post EIS team able to respond to any incident that may arise. Also, given the high cost that implies for an airline to have one plane inactive, our team have to meet requests for spare parts (AOG - Aircraft on Ground) within a maximum period of 24 hours.
Aciturri has so far maintained delivery and quality indicators of almost 100% compliance. Thanks to this, we maintain very good ratings on the Boeing scale, which recognize our strength as top-level suppliers of the firm, and which reinforce, also, the possibility to explore new business opportunities with this key OEM worldwide.