Spirit AeroSystems' State-of-the-Art Global Digital Logistics Center


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Spirit AeroSystems, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc., hosted an open house showcasing the company’s new state-of-the-art Global Digital Logistics Center.

Funded through a collaboration agreement between Spirit and the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County, the Spirit Global Digital Logistics Center (GDLC) is a 150,000-square-foot smart distribution center and the second tallest building on Spirit’s Wichita campus.

The Global Digital Logistics Center allows Spirit to decrease flow time, improve inventory accuracy and increase storage capacity for Wichita operations. The company fabricates about 38,000 unique parts daily at its Wichita site, in addition to handling more than 100,000 unique parts sourced from suppliers.

“The Global Digital Logistics Center was created because every part in aviation manufacturing contributes to affordable, high-quality aerospace programs, and this facility has proven to be an essential component in improving our production flow time with precise inventory management,” said Spirit’s Vice President of Supply Chain Execution Jim Cocca. “Today, we celebrate the successful operation of the facility and the shuttle system that has been integral to our production for more than a year.”

Spirit’s leading-edge logistics center is equipped with a 40-foot-tall automated high-bay shuttle system (HBSS) that stores and retrieves more than 95,000 unique parts used in the assembly of large aerostructures, with the capacity to move up to 120,000 parts per day. The center’s shuttle system is the largest and most advanced in the world, driving to 99.97% part kit delivery accuracy that performs well above the industry standard for inventory precision.

The automated storage and retrieval system includes nine acres of automated rack shelving equipped with robotic cranes that systematically transport totes that travel up to 28 mph and successfully feed 208 kit boxes per hour.

Once parts are received, quantities and other attributes are verified and logged into the system. This triggers the HBSS by dispatching a special tote where employees deposit the unique parts. These designated totes are then propelled into storage where they are continuously tracked.

When a part is needed to assemble a particular section of the aircraft, the HBSS dispatches multiple totes, all containing the required parts to an area referred to as a picking station. At this location, the system directs employees to place the quantity of each part number into each kit box. Once completed with all required parts, kits are loaded onto special carts and seamlessly delivered to the factory floor.

The center’s system is furnished with 83 high-definition cameras that provide real-time visibility to assist with tracking parts, training employees, and assuring the highest level of inventory quality. Additionally, this advanced technology aids in the creation of less waste and provides a safer work environment for employees.

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