Airbus A380. Problems and Recommendations

Term Paper, 2011

21 Pages, Grade: 1,2



Table of Contents

1) Introduction

2) The Current Situation
a. Operation Processes
b. Systems
c. Operations and Systems Integration
d. Interrelated Problems
e. Business Requirements

3) Conclusion

4) Recommendations
a. Improvement Approach
b. Information Systems
c. Operation Processes
d. People
e. Technology
f. Organisation and Structure

5) Bibliography

Table of Illustrations

1) Process Map

2) Origin of Components

3) Input-Process-Output Model

4) Rich Picture

5) CATWOE Model

6) ERP Integration of Information

7) Cost of Rectifying Errors

1) Introduction

This report is to provide Airbus with useful information about the late delivery of the A380 aircraft, to identify strength and weaknesses in systems and operations, and furthermore, to enable management to make decisions for future strategies and improvements.

The topic is analysed because it has come to a two-year delay in the delivery of the first A380, which caused disappointment within customers, stakeholders, media and employees.

Covering the current situation, explaining basic problems and giving useful recommendations as well as evaluations will provide assistance for future improvements.

Information was collected through a case study by Slack, Chambers & Johnston (2010), several journal articles and Airbus’ website.

2) The Current Situation

While developing the A380, Airbus encountered problems that put the production and the company itself into great danger of failing the project. Eventually Airbus delivered its first A380 two years late, being €5.5 billion over its original €11 billion budget (Rothman, 2009).

In the following attention is drawn to business requirements, the processes and systems involved in “Project A380”.

2a) Operation Processes

The Airbus A380 is a project involving 39 companies in 16 countries (Gunston, 2010, p. 239) with major manufacturing and assembling done in West Europe. To give an overview of how complex the design of the business operations is, the process of manufacturing an A380 is presented in illustration 1.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The graphic illustrates that Airbus plants produce some components themselves but also assemble parts of the aircraft. All pre-assembled pieces are transported to the final assembly line in Toulouse, France (Flight International , 2003).

Illustration 2 specifies where parts of the A380 are produced.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Building an airplane in different plants, thousands of kilometres apart from each other, is a major challenge. Not only do all the pieces have to fit to each other, but also the transportation management between the plants is massive. The overall transportation process is carefully thought through and runs on a fixed schedule.

By applying the input-process-output model it becomes clear that far more things have to be taken into consideration for the project.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

All the resources that are being transformed have to be selected, tested and designed. While keeping weight and costs relative low, efficiency and quality has to be high. The transforming resources act upon the transformed resources by designing, constructing, manufacturing or transporting them.

During the processes of manufacturing the customer could still decide about cabin interiors and electronic systems. This often led to problems because installations such as wiring became customised instead of standardised.

The output of producing an A380 is not only the plane itself but also sufficient data and knowledge from the assembly.


Excerpt out of 21 pages


Airbus A380. Problems and Recommendations
Anglia Ruskin University
Systems and Operations Management
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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2032 KB
airbus, a380, problems, recommendations
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Anonymous, 2011, Airbus A380. Problems and Recommendations, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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