First Step Is Space Optimization And Re-Tooling
Bombardier has started work at its aircraft production facility
in Mirabel, Quebec, to accommodate final assembly of the first
flight test CSeries aircraft. This is another step in the
five-phased development of the Mirabel plant, which will ultimately
double in size to some 860,000 square feet.
Space optimization and re-tooling at the Mirabel facility, which
began last month, will accommodate final assembly of the first
CSeries aircraft required for the flight test and certification
program. The Complete Integrated Aircraft Systems Test Area
(CIASTA), the first area at the Mirabel plant developed for the
CSeries aircraft program, is progressing on schedule, with the
installation of systems rigs currently underway.
In addition, new buildings for the CSeries aircraft program will
include a supplier satellite area; final assembly structural
joining and pulse line areas; an area for pre-flight testing; paint
shops; and a delivery and administrative center.
Production, quality and ergonomic requirements are driving
Bombardier's technical approach to the final assembly of the
CSeries aircraft. While they will be shorter than the 128-foot-long
CRJ1000 NextGen regional jet, the largest aircraft currently
produced at the Mirabel plant, the CSeries aircraft will have a
fuselage with a larger diameter, their wings will be longer and
their tails taller than those on the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft.
Bombardier will therefore employ different final assembly
techniques to those used for its regional jets. As an example, two
pairs of robots will be used to drill holes, apply sealant and
install fasteners to join the major sections of the CSeries
"Advanced robot technology will provide predictable
repeatability, enhance quality and prevent ergonomic issues on the
assembly line," said Francois Minville, Vice President, CSeries
Manufacturing, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "The fuselage of the
CSeries aircraft is 12 feet in diameter, which presents an assembly
challenge using our conventional methods. The benefit of the robots
is they can work on the top, the side and underneath the aircraft
without any limitations."
A moving production line is being introduced at Bombardier's
St-Laurent Manufacturing Centre, where major components of the
CSeries aircraft, such as the cockpit and aft fuselage, are being
produced, and a moving final assembly line is planned for Mirabel.
Compared to many other industries, aircraft manufacturing has
traditionally been characterized as a low volume, long cycle time
industry. The introduction of a moving final assembly line creates
a dynamic environment that improves production efficiency.
To reduce the cycle time required to assemble a larger and more
complex airliner, Bombardier is introducing advanced processes to
ensure that high quality parts are received at the plant on
"We are enhancing our quality culture at Bombardier to support
the production of the CSeries aircraft," said Mr. Minville.
"Through the sharing of knowledge and best practices, we are
building on our experience with aircraft programs that involve
risk-sharing suppliers and are refining our processes."
Beginning with the development of the ultra long-range Global
Express business jet in the mid-1990s, Bombardier has obtained
considerable experience working with international partners and a
global supply chain in building large structural aircraft
components, such as wings and fuselages. To augment this
experience, new advanced quality planning (AQP) and advanced
logistics planning (ALP) processes are being introduced to identify
potential areas of risk in manufacturing, systems integration and
supply chain logistics on the CSeries aircraft program. The
introduction of AQP and ALP highlights Bombardier's embrace of
preventive quality tools such as Process Control Plans, Mitigation
Approach Plans, and Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEAs) commonly
employed in the technology, health-care and automotive
Bombardier teams started rolling out the advanced quality
logistics planning methodology to suppliers on the CSeries aircraft
program in 2010, and the system has now been deployed to 26 tier
one suppliers at 46 manufacturing sites.
The CSeries aircraft, which are optimized for the single-aisle
100- to 149-seat market, will deliver the lowest operating costs in
their class, exceptional operational flexibility, widebody comfort
and an unmatched environmental scorecard. Bombardier's goal is to
capture up to half of its forecasted market demand for 6,700
aircraft in the 100- to 149-seat commercial aircraft market
segment. This segment is valued at $393 billion over the next 20