Van’s Aircraft has released the second of its new video updates, in which company president Rian Johnson and COO Greg Hughes discuss the results of new production capabilities and other matters for Van’s customers. A key takeaway is that Van’s is improving its ability to build and anticipate production slots.
Among the highlights:
• Van’s is currently taking orders for Lycoming engines in advance of expected price increases to take place mid March. Van’s says it’ll honor the current prices through midnight March 14th, 2022. (This would be the second time in less than a year that Lycoming has increased prices.)
• A third laser cutter has been implemented and the production process resulted in 50% faster turnaround times for certain parts.
• Johnson explained how Van’s has implemented a “train” system for production scheduling that describes the batches it will focus on. The process is expected to loop back and start at the beginning about every five months. This process is expected to give Van’s better visibility into production scheduling and, therefore, a more accurate estimate to builders of when their parts will be shipped.
• Shipping issues have delayed quickbuild-kit arrivals from both Brazil and the Philippines. And when a collection of parts destined for outside contractors to become quickbuilds was clearly not going to get shipped from Oregon in a reasonable about of time, Van’s reallocated those components to conventional kits.
• Van’s composite vendor is also working below the needed capacity for the increase in recent kit orders, and the company has a plan to help them increase capacity without necessarily having to find a secondary supplier.
• Van’s is improving the throughput of the welded-steel items in each kit with new fixtures.