About the team
Product: RE100 Auxiliary Power Unit
Year Founded: 1885
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Reason to try: Need to reduce lead time for product innovations in order to meet customer expectations
Capabilities Leveraged: High precision CNC machining, fast DFM feedback, and optimization
Result: Reduction in lead time from 22 to just 3 weeks and delivery of part creating significant customer benefits in record time
Accelerating Part Development and Production
Across more than a century of innovation, Honeywell has established itself as a leader in industrial technology development. From energy-efficient buildings, to aircraft, to protective equipment, to high-performance materials, Honeywell sets the standard for high-quality products built for the future.
The Chinook T55 Engine, with improved fuel efficiency, reliability, and affordability, is just one recent example of Honeywell innovation. Source: Honeywell
To continue their legacy as a leader in industrial innovation, and deliver better products, faster, for their customers, Honeywell is investing in digital transformation across every facet of its global organization— both internally and through strategic partnerships.
Jon Hobgood, Vice President of Manufacturing Engineering, leads this transformation effort for Honeywell Aerospace to increase the organization’s performance and customer satisfaction through new technologies.
“Automation and digitization are the keys for competitiveness in the future,” said Hobgood. “There’s no doubt that our customers have this mindset of expecting our products much more rapidly, and as a business, we want to meet those needs in the market.”
“Our customers have this mindset of expecting our products much more rapidly, and as a business, we want to meet those needs in the market.”– John Hobgood, VP of Manufacturing Engineering; Honeywell Aerospace
The Challenge: Navigating a Complex, Global Supply Chain
Given the scale of their product portfolio, expansive supply chain, and global customer base, manufacturing lead times can be a barrier that prevents Honeywell engineers from delivering new innovations at the pace customers demand.
“Some of the challenges we face are around the length of our supply chain,” said Hobgood. “In some cases, it could take six months to two years to source parts. Moving faster, to get our customers parts faster is a big deal for our business today.”
Partnering with Fictiv to Help Accelerate Development
The partnership between Honeywell and Fictiv helps solve this very challenge. The manufacturing engineering team at Honeywell Aerospace taps into Fictiv’s Digital Manufacturing Ecosystem for quotes in minutes instead of days and parts in weeks instead of months, with the goal of reducing cycle times by 50%.
“It’s very exciting when we can find a partner like Fictiv,” said Hobgood. “They do an incredible job connecting my needs as a customer to those suppliers that have the capability, the right competitive cost, and the capacity to build my product and get it to me in a very rapid cycle time.”
“They do an incredible job connecting my needs as a customer to those suppliers that have the capability, the right competitive cost, and the capacity to build my product and get it to me in a very rapid cycle time.”– John Hobgood, VP of Manufacturing; Honeywell Aerospace
Achieving 7x Faster Lead Times for the RE100 APU
In a recent program, the manufacturing engineering team at Honeywell Aerospace was able to achieve 7x faster lead times for a critical component in the RE100 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) with Fictiv.
Honeywell’s RE100 Auxiliary Power Unit delivers world-class flexibility and reliability for small to mid-size aircraft. Credit: Honeywell
Traditionally, a revision to this component in the APU would require a complete re-cast of the part with a 22-week production lead time.
Instead, Honeywell used Fictiv Enterprise to rapidly CNC machine the component in just 3 weeks, following 3 steps:
- Optimize for Manufacturability – Honeywell worked with Fictiv’s design for manufacturability (DfM) team to optimize the model for CNC machining—a much faster process than the traditional casting method.
- Quote-to-Order in Minutes – Honeywell’s engineers used the Fictiv quote-to-order platform to upload and order the revised component in just minutes, instead of waiting days or weeks for a quote.
- Rapid Delivery – Fictiv then securely matched the order with one of the highly vetted CNC machine shops in its global network for rapid production.
Honeywell was able to quickly install the improved component into an APU in their test chamber to validate the new design, providing a significant improvement for Honeywell customers in a fraction of the time.
Unlocking the Future of Industrial Innovation
The spirit of Honeywell innovation all centers around one key goal: achieving better outcomes for their customers.
“If we don’t rapidly develop our products, we’ll miss a market opportunity,” said Hobgood. “Customers of Honeywell want a cool product from us, that meets their needs, that’s delivered on time, and that meets the quality and reliability that their customers expect out in the field.”
The partnership between Honeywell and Fictiv helps to enable this rapid development while maintaining the highest standards of quality, reliability, and security.
And with more innovations coming to market faster, Honeywell demonstrates that digital transformation in manufacturing is not just a vision for the future, but a very present reality.