Air Transport World

Integrated production for Saab 340/2000.

Swedish plane maker prepares to build the two fast-selling turboprop aircraft on automated assembly line.

"We have done so much for so long with so little that we can now do anything with nothing."-U.S. military expression Linkoping, Sweden-When Saab Aircraft Division dissolved its relationship with Fairchild and took over total production of the Saab 340, it suddenly found itself running out of men, materials and manufacturing room. Its marketing department was selling the new aircraft faster than its production people could build them.

So naturally, Saab launched yet another airliner, the Saab 2000, which now is selling almost as fast as the 340. The Swedish aircraft manufacturer also announced a 50% increase in production of the 340 over 1989, delivering 27 aircraft in just the first six months of this year, with a projected 48 delivered by year-end. For the 2000, the production rate is to be "whatever the market requires."

Simultaneously increasing production on one model while adding a new model to the line at a time when capacity already is stretched to the limit takes careful planning and a whole new philosophy. "Basically, we had two objectives we needed to achieve," said Hakan Andersson, Saab's commercial aircraft production director. "We wanted an immediate increase in 340 production, going from 32 deliveries last year to today's rate of 50 per year, plus, we needed to prepare for an integrated 340/2000 production line."

Only 34 years old, Andersson is in charge of developing and running an ever-growing production complex scattered throughout Sweden. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.