Taking flight into the future
A GEC Alsthom case study

Page 1: Introduction

One of the most significant economic developments is the internationalisation and globalisation of commerce. Almost every type of business is influenced by global events - businesses now face tough competition in home markets from overseas producers, but benefit from new sources of products, parts and goods which have become available. Companies today have extended their geographical markets as...
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Page 2: The external environment

British Airways World Cargo is the seventh largest cargo carrier in the world with most of its freight travelling through its London Heathrow hub. The buildings currently used at Heathrow were designed almost 30 years ago for BEA, BOAC and British Caledonian before the introduction of the Boeing 747 ‘Jumbo Jet’.With an expanding operations network, increased cargo capacity and larger...
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Page 3: Objectives and strategy

Early in 1994, British Airways World Cargo appointed WS Atkins as Design Consultants for the New World Cargocentre at London Heathrow. The strategic brief established the design mission as: The objective. To provide the built infrastructure and physical tools to support the most successful air freight carrier in the world. The means. To create a pattern making design which will set a new...
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Page 4: Project management

It was recognised at the outset that the two companies, GEC ALSTHOM and Lödige, would need to form a task force to plan and implement the project. In order to carry out the work successfully, it was vital to have a fully integrated project team which would appear ‘seamless’ not only to the client, but also to those employed in the teams. Handling process The British Airways...
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Page 5: Innovation

The key to the success of the New World Cargocentre is total flexibility and this has been achieved by a system design that can handle imports and exports as and when required, subject to the requirements of Customs & Excise regulations. This enables the whole system to swing naturally from one activity to another.Another major innovation is the cargo handling Manipulator, designed and...
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Page 6: Conclusion

If British Airways World Cargo is to become the most successful air freight carrier in the world, it needs the infrastructure and tools to support its operations. British Airways’ investment has created one of the most sophisticated automated cargo handling systems in the world which puts customer needs first and provides a seamless link in the supply chain. It has created a safe and...
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