Airbus Group has deployed a new “MES” (Manufacturing Execution System) based on real-time data interconnection. A major technological change for the company, it is also a cultural one for its 15,000 employees. Expleo, the technology partner for innovative companies, was chosen by the aerospace leader to deploy the program across European sites.

Big Data and Smart Data offer tremendous opportunities to improve manufacturing performance in the industry 4.0 era. Data collection, cross-tabulation and analysis give companies the opportunity to rethink and optimise their production methods. Airbus Group’s new “MES” manufacturing execution system, deployed to all of its European assembly lines, is based on the real-time interconnection of data generated on-site, and covers supply functions, resource availability, planning and fault handling.

This raises both technological and human challenges, including the need to prepare teams to adopt the new equipment. Support to implement these cultural and organizational changes is necessary to guarantee the success of the process as a whole.

Airbus has responded to these challenges by asking its long-standing partner Expleo to deploy its new MES system. Building on its operational knowledge of the Airbus environment and its teams, Expleo is responsible for checking technical prerequisites and training Airbus employees at all selected manufacturing sites.

Live coaching was selected as the training format best adapted to ensuring the various teams – operators, production managers and support functions – are able to take ownership of their new working environment.

Involving nearly 15,000 employees at 11 manufacturing sites in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, the scope of the project represents an additional challenge. Expleo will ensure the transnational governance of the project through its international teams. Its contacts in each country are familiar with the specific socio-cultural learning context, a decisive factor in the successful transfer and assimilation of new expertise.

The new MES system could eventually be deployed to other countries including China and the United States.

Patrick Longuet, Aeronautics Vice-President for Expleo: “We are delighted to be involved in the deployment of Airbus Group’s new integrated manufacturing execution system. The industry is undergoing far-reaching change, and digital data processing is key to improved productivity. But successful technological change requires advance training and support for teams. That’s what this project is all about.”