Delivering Industry 4.0 Technologies into BAE Systems

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Fairfield Control Systems (FCS) have successfully completed a project to deliver Collaborative Workbenches into BAE Systems Air Sector. The workbenches combine 3D projection technologies and machine vision to aid users and increase productivity.

FCS were approached by BAE Systems with the requirement to take a prototype design to a workbench which could be delivered into a production environment. This project had several challenges, including:

  • Producing an innovative product using the latest Industry 4.0 technologies whilst working within BAE Systems standards and specifications
  • Producing a workbench suitable for BAE Systems operational procedures with future scalability
  • Design, build and put into operation a solution within 6 months to meet the production schedule
  • Integrate the workbenches into BAE Systems existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and network infrastructure

For more details about this project and the solution delivered see our BAE Systems Collaborative Workbenches Case Study

The workbenches were delivered successfully on time and budget with our engineers providing a series of training sessions on both the operation and maintenance of the workbenches which are now in use in the production environment. In addition the project has won a BAE Systems Innovation Award and been shortlisted for the Manufacturer MX Awards in the Smart Factory Category.

Neelofar Ansari, Manufacturing Technology Engineer for BAE Systems commented that “It has been great to work with FCS to develop and productionise the collaborative benches. They have been able to deliver the project in a very short amount of time, whilst helping test the 3D projection systems and integrate into a legacy configuration controlled system. Their commitment and passion for innovation greatly added to the outcome of the project.”

Andy Schofield, Manufacturing and Materials Technology Director for BAE Systems also commented that “this a major achievement and a testament to the hard work and dedication shown between the two teams. The deployment of the collaborative workbench onto our current production line gives a clear signal of the benefits a number of integrated technologies can provide. This also offers a great opportunity in our strive to establish a manufacturing system capable of meeting the challenges of future aircraft”.

Oliver Mangham, Applications Director at FCS added “Our team have enjoyed working with Neelofar and her team on this project. BAE have a clear understanding of how Industry 4.0 technologies can benefit the production within their business and have developed effective strategies for delivering it. The collaborative relationship between the FCS and BAE teams was key to the project being delivered on time and to budget and specification. FCS will continue to support the workbenches with the provision of 24/7 technical support.”

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