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Boosting rocket production using TOC

EuroCryospace is a subsidiary of Air Liquide and Ariane Group based in Les Mureaux. The company manufactures cryogenic tanks for Ariane 5 rockets.

Facing difficulties to meet the customer's need and changes in external & internal context of the aerospace activity, the situation prompted the facility to implement the Theory of Constraints at the end of 2016 in order to increase the production rates.

Initially, Eurocryospace's teams worked on identifying the bottleneck of the company: the welding bench appeared to be the constraint as its productivity did not meet the customer's needs. Then the teams planned and scheduled the bottleneck activities by applying Critical Chain Project Management principles, also called CCPM (focused durations, buffer to protect the lead time, monitoring using a Fever Chart). Moreover, they reduced the number of Work Orders using the 2 for 1 Rule. In parallel, silos between services have been reduced: for instance to improve the performance of the reception quality control, using controllers from other areas.

Quick results came in:

The waiting time at reception quality control has been reduced by 85%,

The outstanding bottleneck of the sections has been reduced by 60%,

The delivery rate of the tanks has been increased by 25%.