Aleris Joins Airbus SQIP Program

Aleris recently attended Airbus’ SQIP Day (Supply Chain Quality Improvement Program) where the company was recognized for its achievement in 2014 supplying Airbus. In this program, Airbus rated all qualified supplier on delivery performance and quality.   In 2013 the aircraft manufacturer Airbus launched its three-year Supply Chain & Quality Improvement Program SQIP 2015.  Aleris was also selected to take part in the project, confirming its status as a strategic partner of Airbus.

More than three quarters of an aircraft manufacturer’s value add usually comes from external partners. So for Airbus it is vital to optimize the management of its supply chain, together with those partners. With SQIP 2015 the European aircraft maker therefore set up a program to systematically develop the supply performance of its partners to ensure joint, long-term growth. “We definitely consider it an honor to have been invited by Airbus to take part in SQIP 2015,” emphasized Markus Schopp, the SQIP leader at Aleris responsible for the program. “It shows how much Airbus values our role as a long-term strategic partner.”

Aleris supplies semi-finished aluminum products (plate and sheet) made of certified aluminum alloys to numerous companies, which use them to make parts and components for Airbus.  SQIP analyzes and evaluates all the processes carried out at Aleris, from placing the order through final delivery. They include customer service, quality assurance, production planning, production – including final inspection, lab testing and packaging, plus all of the logistics up to the customer. Eight “workstreams” map several of the internal workflows at Aleris that lead to certain quality levels defined by Airbus.

In contrast to earlier quality programs, this one also involves the responsible department heads across all functions. Aleris SQIP manager Markus Schopp gives an example: “Let’s take the delivery performance to Airbus, which Airbus designates as D1. The workstream leader is the Head of Customer Service, Marc Gewehr – he provides the analysis of current delivery performance.  If there are any problems, where did they come from?  Pareto analysis is used here to identify the sources of errors.” And then comes the decisive point: the results aren’t just left as statistics, but lead to concrete corrective actions.  Markus Schopp: “These process improvements are discussed and agreed directly with the department heads of the teams responsible – that ensures maximum precision and efficiency of execution.” Other workstreams relate to quality performance R1, production volume management and forecasts for Airbus suppliers – known internally as Conbid Management – as well as to the measurement and analysis of the internal Aleris error rate.

Key new points in SQIP are also projects on tolling “Closed Loop Aerospace” – a recycling project in which Aleris takes back scrap from Airbus suppliers to Koblenz and uses it to produce new quality products – and a Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) project to extend the close working relationship between Airbus and Aleris.  All workstreams are regularly revised and refined by means of monthly updates.