As an Airline MRO, AFI KLM E&M has developed a unique portfolio of know-how and engineering capabilities reflected in its development of a wide range of value-adding innovations. This mindset has always been deeply embedded in Group DNA.
"The MRO Lab" is a program where all the innovations developed by AFI KLM E&M and its network of affiliates converge. Specially tailored to the challenges of aircraft maintenance, the innovations are the fruit of continuous development aimed at satisfying the requirements of airline operating performance. The know-how deriving from mastery of these technologies benefits AFI KLM E&M clients by generating scale effects and optimizing fleet performance.
100,000 ideas in 20 years
The innovation program, called DIP for Developing Innovation Program, has been breeding more than 100,000 ideas since its creation in Air France Industries, 500 trophies rewarding the genius laureates.
In 2013, the program was mainstreamed to the entire airline with six categories: customer satisfaction, sustainable development, occupational health and safety, flight safety, savings, and performance. Here again it is meant to be a continuous process, in which everyone is free to submit an idea at any time.
Aged 20, the program is in top form, with some 4,000 suggestions submitted last year, including 200 ideas turned into operational projects. In operational terms, the program benefits from the continuous involvement of managers in promoting individual innovations.
The participatory innovation program complements the Innovation Department, which is tasked, among other things, with running a network of fifteen managers dedicated to innovation.
Moonshine: the Lean Management version of participatory innovation
At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, participatory innovation is driven by the Moonshine program part of the KLM E&M Lean strategy. When an end-user - a mechanic, or perhaps a pilot or a flight attendant - reports a problem they have encountered, a Moonshine project is launched. A team made up of Moonshine experts, end-users, and engineers is tasked with finding a solution to the problem using a variety of methods, mostly inherited from the Lean 'toolkit'. These include process and data analysis as well as a thorough root cause analysis. Moonshine is governed by a number of basic design principles which include ergonomics and error proofing, the latter implying that a product can only be used one way: the right way. The end-user participates actively in the Moonshine process, from defect definition to building prototypes which he road-tests and develops until they satisfy the design requirements.
Moonshine teams comprise between five and twenty employees, depending on the complexity of the innovation required. Deployed in 2010, the project is now spreading throughout KLM, and to date, some 27 projects have been completed under the Moonshine banner.
The MRO Lab Singapore: A co-innovation center created by AFI KLM E&M and Ramco Systems, in the heart of the South East Asian power house.A team of around ten people are working there on designing and developing innovative, rapid-deployment solutions for strategic areas in the aircraft maintenance industry, benefitting AFI KLM E&M customers all around the world.