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F35 Joint Strike Fighter – towards one a day manufacture


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A talk describing how BAE Systems are on the route to 1 a day production of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter

Date and Time

30 April 2014 - 18:00-20:00


Balderstone, United Kingdom - icon_popup  (See map)


Organised by the Lancashire and Cumbria local network.

About this event

The route to 1 a day production rates is complex and multifactorial. Its journey begins with the development phase of the product. The integration of the design, engineering and manufacturing capability of BAE SYSTEMS and the use of the digital thread that weaves its way through the design and manufacture of this product (Aft Fuselage, Horizontal Tails, Vertical Tails). This guarantees the produceability and repeatability of the product to close tolerances which then lends itself well to high volume production.


In order to achieve the volumes demanded by the Lockheed Martin Customer, and to achieve the affordability targets to sell this product worldwide BAE Systems needed to design and install the necessary capability and capacity. This takes extremely good project management, planning and organisational skills and great partnering arrangements with a whole host of companies in order to execute extensive civil engineering projects, install bespoke high precision machine tools and develop an integrated assembly line.

We can all argue that the physical elements of the F-35 Production System are the easy bit? and the real test is the one of developing a lean culture in order to create the real competitive advantage. The use of visible controls, putting the customer value at the heart of everything we do and having a very effective logistical supply chain are just some of the things that help bring this production system to life. In essence the ability to minimise the variation of inputs (Man, Method, Materiel, Machine and the Environment) is the essential ingredient to guarantee a predictable and cost effective output. Processes, tools and techniques and systems have all been standardised into a Production System in order to achieve this.

Other important factors on this journey have been effective change management, good communications and involvement strategies and strong, decisive leadership in order that the workforce can clearly see the vision and how to get there. You have also got to be flexible and agile because the road is not always straight, Issues always emerge and need to be dealt with, the complexities of BAE Systems as a business and a customer that needs to spend its money wisely mean you need great stakeholder management and diplomacy skills in your team. 

All of the above and more have been planned and executed well and with great dedication to get to where we are today which is about 70% of the journey completed with only another 5 years of doing more of the same to go. We are trying to leave a legacy for the future 30-40 years of potential aircraft production within this system. This will allow the future workforce and the business the prospect of being the supplier of choice to our LM customer, having a benchmark production system for others to follow and also allow our business, our shareholders and our customers to prosper by turning this system into sustainable business results.


6.00pm - Arrival
6.30pm - Lecture


Free of charge

Additional information

Speaker: Andy Higgins, F35 Head of Production Delivery, JSF, BAE Systems

Registration information

Please register online. For info contact Anne Morris (


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