The Theory of Constraints to increase production throughput
and accelerate new products development 

Home>Articles & Press releases>Usine Nouvelle Article - Theory Of Contraints in aeronautics

Article from the weekly magazine L'Usine Nouvelle (#1 in industry), June 2023


Article in French (and English translation below)

Article Usine Nouvelle Juin 2023 Dossier Aéro


The Theory of Constraints to increase production throughput and accelerate new products development.

Marris Consulting, a specialist in improving operational performance, implements the Theory of Constraints (TOC) and Project Management by the Critical Chain to help companies in the aeronautics sector meet their current challenges: increasing the pace of production and develop new products in a highly constrained environment.

Explanations with Etienne Lecerf and Jessica Hamaide, Managing consultants at Marris Consulting.

How can the Theory of Constraints (TOC) help the aerospace industry?


The postulate of the Theory of Constraints, developed by Eliyahu Goldratt and presented in his book "The Goal", is that in any system there is a bottleneck, or capacity constraint, which determines the performance of the whole. Thanks to the TOC it is possible to identify the constraint(s), and to effectively manage production flows. To identify the bottleneck, it is recommended to observe the queues in front of the workstations, then it is necessary to adjust the production flows according to the bottleneck's capacity, using the "Drum-Buffer-Rope" mechanism. This implies in particular creating a safety buffer upstream of the bottleneck, in order to avoid any interruption of activity and to focus improvement projects on the latter to maximize its performance, for example via projects to reduce changeover times such as the “SMED” approach.


What are the gains obtained?

Significant results are obtained thanks to TOC, in any sector of activity, for example: cycle times divided by 3 in aeronautics, +17% productivity obtained in 15 minutes in the automotive industry, +75% throughput production in pharmaceuticals, - 40% service time in fast food.

When does the Critical Chain Project Management method come into play?

In a sector such as aeronautics where deadlines are crucial and production capacities are constantly called upon, companies must be ingenious to remain competitive, they have a lot to gain using the TOC, and in particular one of its components, Critical Chain Project Management. This innovative project management method takes resource capacities into account and seeks to limit the number of ongoing projects to avoid overloading, it laso integrates buffers to absorb contingencies. The Critical Chain thus guarantees better results and optimal operational efficiency.

This is particularly the case for CAPEX-type projects, the examples of which speak for themselves: we have helped several factories of the Safran group to reorganize a machining workshop to simplify production flows in 6 days instead of 4 weeks initially planned, or to re-arrange 75% of a machine park in just 6.5 days instead of 8 weeks.

The field of application of the Critical Chain is not limited to these exceptional performances. In a context where production capacities do not allow to quickly deliver all aircraft orders, it is also used to optimize maintenance operations, thus increasing the availability of the current aircrafts while awaiting the delivery of new aircrafts. We have thus reduced TATs by more than 20% in the maintenance of military aircrafts, and by more than 45% in an Embraer maintenance center.


Similarly, the Critical Chain represents a formidable asset in the development of new products, as evidenced by the Embraer E190-E2 project piloted in the Critical Chain and delivered more than 22 months ahead of the initial deadlines. We are currently working with aeronautical equipment manufacturers, suppliers of Safran or even Flying Whales, who have adopted this method and are not willing to return to the traditional project management.



Note: L'Usine Nouvelle is the main industry weekly in France.

Read the article online

Marris Consulting and the MRO in aeronautics - Article in L'Usine Nouvelle

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About Marris Consulting

Marris Consulting is an industry consulting and training company specialized in the Theory of Constraints (ToC) and Critical Chain Project Management. We focus on improving the performance of manufacturing and process industries by using Constraints Management combined with Lean and Six Sigma. To boost project performance, we also use Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), which we sometimes combine with Lean Engineering. Our 2-day performance audits, our performance consulting services and our project management, Lean, ToC & CCPM training by our industry consultants offer a wide range of solutions to help our clients around the world reach the highest possible levels of performance.

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