Airbus in the UK is part of EADS, a company which has been in existence for over four decades, and has a presence on every continent, employing a global workforce of over 119,000.
The Airbus branch in Broughton, North Wales is responsible for assembling the wings for all Airbus civil aircraft. Over 1,000 wings are produced every year at Broughton, and the site houses more than 6,000 employees over manufacturing, engineering and support roles.
Airbus employees gain access to the plant using personalised RFID cards and staff use laptops and handheld devices onsite. This led to the need for a secure place to store all of the devices whilst not in use, which could also charge and centrally manage and automate issue of the devices to staff on the shop floor. After carrying out research, Airbus decided that a unit which allowed staff to access devices using contactless RFID cards would be the ideal solution and turned to LapSafe® and their partner Nedap Security Management for the right RFID card integration.
Airbus approached LapSafe® knowing that they could create a bespoke solution, after the Airbus plant at Filton, Bristol, had purchased an Ambassador laptop cabinet in the past. After discussion with Airbus over their unique requirements for Diplomat units, LapSafe’s in-house development team designed and built the units to fit the unique specification. LapSafe® created two different bespoke Diplomat units, one housing 15 rugged laptops, spare batteries and chargers and the other housing 8 rugged laptops, spare batteries and chargers. The lockers are located in the North Factory at Broughton builds the wings for the A350 XWB aircraft family. The Diplomat unit allows Airbus to track who has borrowed laptops and when, allowing secure management of these valuable devices and has allowed the company to achieve a completely paperless manufacturing process.
Stephen Batterbee, Project Manager at Airbus in the UK said: “Our LapSafe® Diplomat units were installed in 2012, and we are still very happy with them. As these were a bespoke design, we did initially have one or two teething problems, but once our support team has received training from LapSafe® any issues were sorted.”
Stephen concluded: “The units do exactly what was asked of them by securing laptops and charging them along with the spare battery.”