Aircraft manufacturer Airbus has inaugurated its new A320 Family final assembly line (FAL) in Toulouse during a ceremony attended by government officials and hundreds of Airbus employees.
Installed in the former A380 ‘Jean-Luc Lagardère’ assembly building, a variety of innovations feature prominently in this new FAL, with the aim of maximising product quality, efficiency, as well as establishing new standards for health, safety and sustainability.
Airbus state these innovations include digital production control using tablets and smartphones to reduce paper consumption, automated logistics for parts distribution and light-weight robots for joining sections.
Guillaume Faury, chief executive of Airbus, said: “The inauguration of this new A321-capable final assembly line in Toulouse represents another milestone in the ongoing modernisation of our global industrial system.
“This FAL will contribute to the ongoing production rate ramp-up to 75 A320 Family aircraft per month in 2026, while meeting the increased demand for A321s which currently represents around 60 per cent of the total A320 Family backlog.
“We’re pleased to see this new facility join our worldwide network of final assembly sites which will comprise four FALs in Hamburg, Germany; two in Toulouse, France; two in Mobile, United States; and two in Tianjin, China, all them capable of assembling the A321.”
The new FAL started initial operations at the end of 2022 with the delivery of the first fuselage sections.
The roll-out of the first aircraft fully assembled in this facility – an A321 – is expected to take place at the end of 2023.
Airbus state that the site will progressively ramp up operations between now and 2025, directly employing around 700 workers.