“Delivering engineering excellence”

steve-gerber-sr

You joined QuEST Global in February of 2009. How’s been the journey since then?
The journey so far has been exciting and fulfilling. Over the past decade, I have seen QuEST grow from 1400 to more than 10,000 employees and expand from four to seven verticals.
As an engineering service provider, QuEST’s expertise lies in solving customer challenges through innovative solutions. Driven by a great culture and values, QuEST does a great job of adapting capabilities to address customer needs and its fulfilling to be part of an organization that does this so well.

How would you look at the aerospace industry’s evolution in India in the same time span as your journey with QuEST?
In the last ten years, the aerospace industry has grown at a rate not seen before both in the commercial and defense space. With India and China expected to witness the highest growth potential, it is estimated that the industry will continue to expand over the next decade.
In India, both commercial and government defense purchases are growing at an accelerated pace. There is a great push from the Indian government to seize this opportunity and position the country as a low cost, high quality manufacturing hub and accelerate R&D services through new policy initiatives like easing of investments, offset clause in defense regulations and overhaul of taxation.
At QuEST, we see huge opportunity for engineering and R&D services in India. We have built our technology capabilities and expanded our capacity to meet the rising demand. Over the last decade during my tenure, the company has evolved from a basic deliverable provider to a full-service engineering partner. From modeling and drafting to integrated product development, we are supporting our customers across functions that directly drive business metric. As an approved defense partner in India for OEMs, we are engaged in several offset projects and we will continue to invest in this area.

What factors have contributed to the success of QuEST Aerospace? How much does it contribute to the overall group revenue in terms of percentage?
Whether it’s engineering or the right side of the Product Life Cycle, customers are looking for capable partners that can respond and adapt swiftly to their ever-changing needs. As an industry leader, QuEST’s mission has always been to look beyond the obvious and deliver transformative engineering solutions.
Over the last two decades, we have been delivering best-in-class engineering services as well as adding value to customer offerings through innovation. Our approach has always been to win customer trust and work together to solve industry challenges Given our willingness to develop technologies and harness necessary skills to address market demands and improve time to market, we are delighted that customers regards us an extension of their own team. Aerospace represents the largest and most significant part of the QuEST portfolio, contributing to nearly 40 percent of our revenue.

Tell us about the technical capabilities of the aerospace vertical. What are some of its key engineering achievements?
With expertise across the aerospace product life cycle, QuEST is playing a key role in pioneering innovation in aerospace that makes aircrafts safer, faster, more reliable and enjoyable. As a long-term, strategic partner to our customers, we’re helping our clients seamlessly transition to digital manufacturing. We enable them to emerge as leaders in the market by accelerating smart product introduction by streamlining design, manufacturing, supply chain, and using advanced technology like Model Based Development (MBD) to reduce time to market.
We are leveraging other digital technologies like augmented reality and IoT based inventory tracking to maximize uptime with aftermarket services.  We have developed lean engineering services that evaluate manufacturing non-conformance in real-time, thereby enabling faster production lines. Our process capability has brought reduction of nonconformance disposition lead-time from weeks to hours. By deploying analytics driven root cause identification tools, we have also been able to reduce the generation of non-conformances as well.
The recognition we have amassed from the industry and customers is a testament to our commitment to excellence, quality and innovation in this sector. QuEST has been:
Recognized by HfS for excellence in providing embedded product engineering services.
Positioned in Winner’s Circle in HfS Aerospace Engineering Services Blueprint.
Recognized as a leader amongst Global Product Engineering Services in Zinnov Zones 2017.
Recognized by International Association for Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) in 2016 as top company for Awards & Certifications and Employee Growth in Leader Size Group.

What are some of the key challenging projects successfully executed by the aerospace vertical in the recent times?
Non- Conformance Disposition Center of Excellence - A lean application of an engineering process, QuEST dispositions 1000’s/month in customer non-conformances within hours of receipt. This service was developed to support aero structures, Aero Systems and Aero Engines.  Average cycle times have been reduced from a couple of weeks to a couple of hours with a commensurate reduction in cost.
On time Delivery - Our 24X7 support for delivery assurance has enabled on time shipment of our customer's products by reducing delays in supply chain and the production line by 40 percent.
Reduce Redundancy - Our customers expected cycle time reduction by 50 percent with automation. QuEST helped the customer in automating tool path generation for a family of parts that resulted in: Process standardization, Cycle time reduction by 50 percent – 70 percent and defect reduction by 85 percent.
Redesign of Jet-pipe to improve life - An OEM experienced high rate of jet pipe cracks on a military jet aero engine resulting in low MTBF and increased downtime. QuEST redesign of the component resulted in 5X improvement in the expected life, reduced jet pipe weight and cost reduction of 35 percent.
Model Based Enterprise - We are working closely with our customers to develop the systems and technologies required to connect the master CAD model to the various manufacturing and supply chain elements to improve first time quality, significantly reduce time to market and enhance production readiness.

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How do you perceive the role of SMEs in India’s aerospace industry? Which are the areas that they need to focus on to become successful in this highly demanding industry?
SMEs play a big role in developing innovative solutions for the challenges faced by the aerospace industry. With India having a large pool of highly skilled and experienced SMEs in the aerospace sector, QuEST leverages local SMEs as a part of its local global model.
We often hire engineers with customer product and process experience to provide a cost effective speedy solution.  This approach is a differentiator for QuEST and results in a much faster ramp up to value as well as high quality deliverables from the earliest part of the engagement.
SMEs that have ambition to make a bigger mark in the industry must increase capabilities in digital technologies, supply chain and aftermarket services.
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