fan front

Project Details



Customer: Fortune 500, tier 1 aerospace manufacturer

Industry: Aerospace


The Objective

This customer needed to reduce the cost, lead time and the supply risks associated with the production of a part that involved extensive outsourcing. The product, which had a costly and complex workflow that required the outsourcing of multiple processes, was a fan for an aerospace application.

The Challenge

The customer-directed workflow for this fan included seven cross-country trips to five different vendors — including Allegheny Performance Plastics, who touched the fan three times. Allegheny Performance Plastics suggested and conducted value stream mapping on the entire part family, leading to the outsourced production of the metal insert and a balancing operation being moved to Allegheny Performance Plastics.

With the in-sourcing of CNC machining of the inserts and balancing, five of the steps are now performed by Allegheny Performance Plastics — the other in-house processes included injection molding, analysis and testing and inspection.  The only remaining outsourced steps are plating the metal insert and burst testing — both of which were moved to suppliers nearby to Allegheny Performance Plastics Pittsburgh location.

Allegheny Performance Plastics also developed a new analytic technique to validate the manufacturing lot — instead of interrupting production to await destructive test results, which further streamlined the production process.

The Solution

With no design change, Allegheny Performance Plastics was able to eliminate about 45 days of lead time (40% reduction), deliver $20,000 of annual savings and significantly reduce supply chain risk.

We put together a full proposal, which included our tooling manager and engineering manager visiting the customer’s site to gather as much information as possible about the tooling and the problems with their molding processes, to minimize the timeline and further prevent supply risk. We also proposed to bring the leak testing in-house and do it for them temporarily with the goal of not having to 100% test the components in the future.