Recaro invests in component production for flexibility and speed

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To provide more flexibility and speed, Recaro Aircraft Seating has completed a Euro 3m investment in the systematic expansion of its component manufacturing capabilities. The most recent acquisition – a punch/laser machine for sheet metal structures – marks the completion of the supplier’s pre-production department in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany.

“We invested roughly 1.5 million Euros in the punch/laser machine in order to further increase our competitiveness,” explained Dr Mark Hiller, CEO of Recaro Aircraft Seating (and now partner – read more HERE). “We are not only ensuring speed and flexibility in the product development process but are also providing a clear signal for the Schwaebisch Hall location.”

“Through the expansion of our pre-production, we have made ourselves fit for the future,” added Joachim Ley, Recaro’s VP of supply chain. “Thanks to optimised material flows, we can produce parts faster and, for example, implement short-term change requests for clients more easily. This has a positive effect on lead times – and thus also on the delivery performance of Recaro.”

Recaro expects the addition of the new laser unit to improve productivity by up to 20%. Moreover, through the redesign of sheet metal production from individual machines to holistic process chains, Recaro says it is able to reduce the lead time by up to 50%.

The team, which consists of more than 70 employees, is currently producing components such as plastic panels and backrest inserts or structural metal parts such as seat bottom plates, electronic boxes, and all kinds of brackets and lugs for all current Recaro aircraft seat models. Roughly 39,000 different parts are currently available. The department’s customers are the four Recaro production sites in Schwaebisch Hall, Poland, the USA, and China. Production of spare parts for the Recaro Customer Service, especially in the area of plastic parts, is also part of the product portfolio.

“We specialise in small series production of a widely varied series of complex parts and assemblies. This requires automated manufacturing along with in-depth product knowledge and careful workmanship. The high product quality combined with our fast lead times places us in a market position that is practically unrivaled in terms of flexibility – throughout the global production network of Recaro,” stated Ley. “This makes our department the ideal partner for the Recaro engineering department in Schwaebisch Hall: In the development stage of new products, we can produce very small batches at short notice and cost-effectively.”

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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