Cirrus streamlines manufacturing.(Brief Article)
Copyright 2001 Gale Group Inc. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT 2001 Reed Elsevier Business Publishing, Ltd.
Cirrus Design has slashed by more than half the number of man-hours needed to build its single-engine light aircraft following a company restructuring earlier this year, which resulted in a 20% cut to its workforce.
Cirrus admits it has wrestled with financing and production start up problems, partly due to ramping up production last December to one aircraft a day. Production of the SR20 was consequently halted while the Duluth, Minnesota-based manufacturer concentrated on fulfilling orders for its newer SR22.
Ian Bentley, Cirrus director of sales support, says: "An aircraft was taking around 7,000h to build, well above our original target of 2,500h, and using far too many people - it was simply unsustainable.
The answer was to introduce more effective management practices and a streamlined production process without making significant engineering changes."
With the restructure now in place, Cirrus has resumed a production rate of one aircraft a day, with each model taking around 2,800h. Bentley adds: “We should reduce this time to 2,500h soon and then we shall see how low it can go.”
Cirrus plans to ramp up production to one-and-a-half aircraft a day in the fourth quarter and two aircraft a day next year. “We are taking orders at a rate of one aircraft a day and have 411 orders for the [$197,600] SR20 and 210 for the [$276,600] SR22.”
The company is also seeking to expand its sales force over the next six months and aims to make a profit by the end of the fourth quarter.o