Astrium has called together its institutional partner ESA, its key European industrial partners and Arianespace, the Ariane launch operator, to harmonise activities in the Ariane programme
Paris - Faced with an economic context that has become increasingly complex not only for the European Space Agency (ESA) member countries but also for Arianespace, the overall effectiveness of the Ariane programme must be reinforced both for industry and public administrations.
With this important goal in mind, Astrium Space Transportation, prime contractor for the Ariane 5 launcher, brought together its partners on 15 October 2010 to better harmonise work on the Ariane programme. Continuing efforts are a must in this area to prolong the series of 38 consecutive successful Ariane 5 ECA launches. The talks focused on ways of insuring excellence, product quality and future developments for Ariane.
As prime contractor for development and production work on the launcher, Astrium has final responsibility for overall quality and has stepped up its supervision of the programme. Astrium has conducted an internal audit and also introduced the Ariane Supply Chain Excellence Programme (ASCEP), which was launched over a year ago.
The audit results showed that maintaining competitiveness remained tenuous and needed to be better guaranteed.
During that day, Astrium and its industrial partners talked to ESA about ways to improve the existing management procedures for contracts accompanying production (ARTA programme, maintenance in operational conditions, etc.), as their complexity has slowed down production processes.
Alain Charmeau, CEO of Astrium Space Transportation, underlined the necessity of launching the development phase on the Ariane 5 Midlife Evolution (ME) to reinforce the overall effectiveness and the robustness of the industrial chain.
"These are excellent means to facilitate our industrial cooperation, develop skills, anticipate any upcoming production constraints and adopt collective measures that reflect our firm commitment to reducing overall costs," he stated. "It's a win-win situation both for the industrial partners and the government agencies."
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