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C&D Aerospace flying high with LISTA international

In the highly competitive aerospace market, quality is critical to success. Whether the engine or wing or seat belt, all elements of an airplane must be of the highest quality to ensure passenger and aircraft safety. C&D Aerospace (Huntington Beach, CA) has been adhering to this belief for more than a quarter of a century.

Founded as a two-person company, C&D Aerospace has grown to 2000 employees throughout 12 divisions, and has revenue of $200 million. C&D Aerospace boasts an impressive client list of the leading aircraft manufacturers including Bombardier, Embraer, Boeing and Airbus. As the only privately held aircraft interior manufacturer (i.e., overhead bins, galleys, interior furnishings, etc.) in the world, C&D Aerospace is always looking for ways to improve and streamline their operations.

One area deemed necessary for improvement was the metalworking division. Gary Reece, director of product support, explains, "In an effort to increase utilization of capital equipment and add value to the overall operation, C&D determined it would be beneficial to consolidate all of the metalworking equipment. This consolidation included machining, tooling and sheet metal production, whose parts are needed for composites manufacturing. With this concept of manufacturing, we also recognized the necessity for storage and retrieval of non-recurring equipment like cutters, holders and tooling."

C&D Aerospace determined that the first step to achieve the desired results would be to centralize equipment and tools, and build a strategically located tool crib. This would require constructing an entirely new structure within the confines of their manufacturing floor. In keeping with their commitment to quality, C&D Aerospace turned to DMARK Corporation, a leading machine and tool sales group in Southern California, for their recommendation. DMARK designed and implemented products from Lista International (Holliston, MA), a world-leading manufacturer of storage and workspace solutions. DMARK's relationship of over 30 years with Lista demonstrates their loyalty to Lista's superior quality products. Reece explains, "We knew we wanted high quality, as well as an aesthetically pleasing solution. We spoke with several manufacturers but none of them could come close to Lista in terms of quality, technical capability, and features. Lista was the only choice."

The tool crib that Lista developed for C&D Aerospace was aimed at achieving a number of basic goals, including:

· Organize all non-recurring tools and equipment;

· Allow for better control of tools and equipment;

· Provide a workspace for tool preparation; and

· Be aesthetically pleasing for customer visits.

The solution that was conceived achieved those objectives and more. A glass-enclosed tool crib was designed to house all metalworking tooling and parts. Within the tool crib is a system of stacked Lista modular cabinets. Lista's cabinets feature 50% more storage capacity than conventional shelving, providing C&D Aerospace with high-density storage for the maximum in organization and access. The drawers of the cabinets were designed with a variety of heights and interior configurations to fit the needs of a wide range of storage requirements. Drawers range from 2 1/8" to 15" in height, and are available in a variety of footprints, so items of various sizes can be efficiently stored. Each drawer can be divided with partitions to create organized, custom compartments that can be easily reconfigured at any time. Additionally, Lista's drawers extend 100% from the housing to allow for complete access to stored items, even at the back of the drawer.

Pairs of cabinets were stacked onto each other and fastened together. The 10 ft. high cabinet couplings then run down the length of the tool crib. A collapsible safety ladder was added for easy access. The tool crib was designed to store both small and large items. The easily configurable Lista drawers could be arranged to hold a variety of parts within the same drawer. From nuts and bolts to drills and cutters, C&D Aerospace was now able to organize all non-recurring equipment. High-usage parts are stored in lower cabinet drawers for easy accessibility. Small tools and miscellaneous items (i.e., specialty tools) are stored in the upper section. "The variety of tools and parts that can be stored in the tool crib is incredible. Now, every item has its own place and we can better control our inventory," states Reece.

C&D Aerospace is realizing a tremendous benefit from the tool crib. Previously, the manufacturing engineers would spend 20-30% of production time preparing the tools for the machine. The introduction of the tool crib has reduced this percentage drastically. When a tool is needed, the manufacturing engineers fill out a work authorization form, which is routed to the tool crib. The tool crib team prepares the tool, sets -up the order, and the tools and materials are then sent directly to the machine via Lista's tool transporter. Approximately 15 tool transporters are used – each is set up with tools required for a specific job, and transports these tools directly to the machine. The engineers now spend less than 8% of the production time outfitting the machine with the tool. "The reduction in tool preparation and machine set-up time is outstanding. We are able to focus our production time where it should be: producing parts. Additionally, we are better able to control our tool inventory because we can track all tools and parts throughout the facility through the work authorizations."

New workstations are another important element of the Lista system. In the tool crib, four Lista workstations are outfitted with hard butcher block tops, ideal for the pounding and grinding, a customary process used in tool set-up. In the Quality Control Lab, the workbenches are outfitted with 3'x 6' stainless steel tops suitable for part inspections. Every machine also has an accompanying bench that is used by the operator for a variety of purposes. The Lista workbenches provide an aesthetically pleasing, comfortable environment for the tool crib attendant, QC engineer or operator.

C&D Aerospace has realized numerous benefits from the entire Lista system. Once all non-recurring elements were removed from the machines and stored in the tool crib, C&D Aerospace was able to increase the utilization of the equipment. Machine set-up times were dramatically reduced due to the preparation by the tool crib team. Both features resulted in major cost reduction. Concludes Reece, "We achieved what we wanted to and then some from the Lista system. Our operation is running more efficiently. Additionally, the Lista solution is aesthetically pleasing, which impresses our customers and boosts employee moral. That is the icing on the cake." With Lista on board, the sky's the limit for C&D Aerospace.

Press release issued by Lista International Corp. on August 23, 2006


 Contact details from our directory:
Lista International Corp. Benches, Laboratory Equipment, Tool Boxes, Storage Systems, Work Stands
Zodiac OEM Cabin Interiors Emergency Lighting Systems, Injection Moulding, Cabin Lighting, Crew Rest Modules, Crew Seating, Aircraft Interiors, Air Conditioning Equipment, Passenger Service Units (PSUs), Storage Bins, Cabin Management Systems, Galleys, Aircraft Interior Furniture, Airborne Waste Removal Systems, Lavatory Equipment, Fire & Smoke Detectors, Evacuation Systems, Automatic Passenger Briefing Equipment, Acoustic Insulation, Slides, Water Systems, Passenger Seating, Oxygen Systems


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