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Case Study
GE Aviation’s Additive Technology Center
& Bluestreak | Bright AM™

Why did ATC look for a better MES system?
The ATC (Additive Technology Center) was established in 2012 at GE Aviation after acquiring Morris Technologies, one of the early leaders in Additive Manufacturing. Now, ATC, is one of the world’s leaders in Additive Manufacturing of Aviation, Commercial, Marine, and land-based jet engine parts and components. At the time ATC was established, they used 2 separate MES/ERP systems.

  • ATC used E2 Shoptech for half of the office/shop and Infor Visual for the other half.

  • Neither of the systems fit the needs of ATC and the Additive Manufacturing format.

  • Neither software was customizable.

  • Both had limited users. Purchased seats of software. Users struggled to get access.

  • Everything was on paper. Very limited data. Changes were made on paper but not in the systems making data mining and traceability impossible.

  • Used many Excel spreadsheets, Access, and Project schedules. Limited access to all.

  • Nonconformances were tracked on paper, not electronically. No control.

  • WIP tracking was very manual by searching spreadsheets and walking the shop floor.

  • Struggled with finding information during audits.

  • Technicians having to search the network for information and documents in order to perform their tasks.

In 2016, ATC began the search for a new MES system. The Options that the new system needed were:

  • Customizable software to fit ATC’s needs.

  • Integrated WIP Tracking and full visibility of all Work Orders.

  • User-friendly, easy to learn and use.

  • Document storage linked to Work Orders.

  • Quality and Nonconformance control.

  • Integrated Serial Numbers.

After evaluating multiple MES systems, Bright AM™ was the clear choice. They fit all of ATC’s needs. ATC went live with BS in September of 2018 after only a few months of setup and training. The Bright AM™ and ATC teams worked together to customize the software to perfectly fit all of ATC’s Additive Manufacturing needs. Today, there are over 6000 active Work Orders on the floor and over 120 users.

Some of the clear benefits of Bluestreak | Bright AM™ are:

  • Very user-friendly. Easy to learn and use.

  • Unlimited users.

  • User controls. Able to assign Roles to limit users’ access and permissions. Only qualified employees can perform tasks.

  • Complete and accurate WIP Tracking.

  • Real-time Work Order status and reporting.

  • Full genealogy of job-related activities including Serial Numbers, Quality information, Material Lot numbers, etc.

  • Auto-generated Serial Numbers for all build plates and every part on the build.

  • Able to use Specifications to limit Equipment choices. Only qualified Equipment can be chosen by Technicians.

  • BlueDocs document management, revision control, document storage, approval, and Publishing capability.

  • Migrated all of Quality system documents to BlueDocs.

  • All information for Technicians to perform tasks are in front of them; from the Production Pathway module, technicians can access all documents, work instructions and can enter all data pertaining to their task.

  • Technicians initiate nonconformances when needed either manually or by entering data or specs outside of set range.

  • Fully integrated nonconformances by Work Order number and by Serial Number.

  • Virtually paperless. All information is stored electronically and fully trackable.

  • Auditors are always very impressed with Bright AM™ and the ability to pull up any information for all scenarios.

  • Bright AM’s™ nonconformance tracking has virtually eliminated all quality escapes for ATC.

“Bright AM’s support team is amazing. They are always able to help at a moment’s notice. They are very easy to work with and open to suggestions or improvement ideas. Prior to Bright AM, ATC struggled to manage and track Work Orders throughout the shop. Bright AM has made this effortless. Any customer, at any time, can ask for status on their parts and they will get an accurate update instantly. Reporting and WIP tracking make it easy to manage the over 6000 active Work Orders at any time. Capacity planning has been made easy with Bright AM and it continues to be the clear winner for ATC’s Additive Manufacturing needs.”

INTEGRATED QUALITY: “Bright AM lets us set up quality control plans that can be attached to an Order that defines the necessary quality and processing requirements. We can include operating instructions, inspection and testing requirements for our Lab, and collect quality data in real-time.” (Quality Hub)

JOB TRACKING: “It has improved our overall quality and reduced our re-work because we can now tie quality management initiatives directly to individual equipment operators on the production floor.” (Production Pathway Module)

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT: “With BlueDocs we can now track and show revision control with our key documents which are required by ISO and AS 9100.”
(BlueDocs Module )

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