One order, one hundred tasks - industrial maintenance at the highest level

Enrico Kabbe, Customer Program Manager at ARTS, reports on the cooperation with FFT Produktionssysteme GmbH & Co KG in the area of technical building management at Premium AEROTEC GmbH. He also speaks about his role as project manager and the challenges he faces in his day to day work.

Industrial Maintenance as a cooperation project with FFT Produktionssysteme

If the milling machine at Premium AEROTEC GmbH (PAG) goes on strike, the assembly line jams, or the hall door remains closed, then ARTS employees are deployed alongside the colleagues of our cooperation partner FFT.

PAG creates structures and manufacturing systems for civil and military aircraft construction and is one of the world's leading suppliers in this field. It is a subsidiary of the Airbus Group. “FFT Automatisierungstechnik” is a worldwide operating system provider of automated and flexible production facilities. The subsidiary FFT Produktionssysteme, founded in 2014, then takes over facility management and industrial maintenance of the production facilities, including at PAG in Nordenham and Varel. A total of 20 employees work for the subsidiary at various locations, including Stade and Hamburg. They ensure that all employees at the production facilities and machines can carry out their work safely and in accordance with occupational health and safety regulations.

To meet the volume of maintenance orders within the halls of PAG, FFT and ARTS founded a working group. As project manager of ARTS, I am in regular contact with my contact person at FFT and the local workshop manager at PAG. Within the framework of BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) we have eight employees as a project team in Nordenham and Varel. Within their work package, they carry out maintenance orders, security checks, troubleshooting and programming for troubleshooting and repairs. If necessary, they also repair the machines in Stade and Hamburg for a temporary period. Our colleagues can also check lifting devices (e.g., ropes, hoisting belts or slippage). As trained industrial mechanics or industrial electricians, all project participants have the appropriate specialist training as well as the necessary qualifications to specialise in the industrial sector.

The main task is therefore to carry out regular inspections and maintenance, including load tests on devices and tools as well as on installation equipment and hoists.

To ensure smooth operation, ARTS and FFT operate a joint production shop on site, which holds all the tools required for work in the field of industrial maintenance. Our expertise in Tool Management enables us to ensure that the tools meet the required quality standards and can be ordered independently of suppliers, depending on their suitability and requirements. Here, our ability to optimally create synergies between the individual ARTS service areas and thus to be able to offer our customers the optimal service combination for them is very nicely demonstrated.

Industrial Maintenance of an automated production line

Industrial Maintenance requires precise engineering on for example electrical parts of an automated production line

Speaking the language of the customer

This project in the field of industrial maintenance is not the first cooperation where FFT strengthens its own performance through ARTS' know-how and human resources. Further examples are the collaborative work at the Airbus 320/A321 Wing Modification in Filton, UK and the project with and for FFT in the area of "Jigs and Tools", which included the testing of slings.

Both projects formed the basis for further cooperation. The common goal for working at PAG and also generally is to ensure the functionality of the production plants and thus also the constant utilisation of the machines. The FFT and ARTS team must integrate into the regular daily routine and the production process and react to the conditions on site without disrupting or interrupting internal processes. As the motto goes: you don't see us, but everything works. The customer expects us to react promptly and professionally to problems and error messages to avoid production downtimes.

In some cases, however, the customer must also rely on the competence of the employees if machines or plants have to be stopped for safety reasons in order to guarantee the safety of their employees. The ARTS project team is responsible for ensuring that all repair and maintenance work is carried out in accordance with the applicable safety regulations and guidelines. Only after approval by our specialists is safe work guaranteed. This sense of responsibility also plays a role in the selection of suitable project participants.

Success factor employee selection

Competent employees are of great importance for the achievement of objectives. With the appropriate training, experience and the necessary qualifications, only a short training phase is necessary, as the colleagues quickly understand the client's requirements and are thus ready for immediate use. If required, our employees receive corresponding qualification measures in training courses organised by us in cooperation with FFT, so that the training period at the customer's site is reduced to a minimum. 

Every customer order is different, which is why very special employees are needed for each project. The selection of project staff is always a decisive success factor for us. According to the tasks to be performed in the project we select the right colleagues from our pool of employees in a multi-stage process. Within this framework, not only are qualifications important, but also the willingness to work flexible hours and short-term "emergency" assignments. Weekend work and night assignments are not uncommon in industrial maintenance and require commitment and passion for their work from those involved in the project.

Another important feature that plays a role in filling vacancies is an eye for the big picture. Industrial maintenance requires prudence in order to identify other problem areas and repair requirements in addition to the repairs ordered.

Industrial Maintenance by ARTS

Industrial Maintenance by ARTS

Every day a change of scenery

The exciting thing about work packages and project assignments in industrial maintenance is the multitude of different jobs and tasks. The only thing that is set is the regular inspection intervals for CNC machines, slings or other items that do not fall within the support area of certain machine manufacturers. In addition to these assignments, maintenance staff receive new orders every day, which means that they are constantly being given new applications.

That's the great of my work at ARTS, because it's precisely these regular challenges in my work for ARTS that enliven my professional life. Besides projects in the area of Production and Industrial Maintenance ARTS also implement work packages in Manufacturing EngineeringLogistics and Supply Chain as well as Quality Management and Services. Every customer has different requirements and therefore there are always new challenges - from Dresden to Hamburg, to Toulouse and Dubai.

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