This company's ability to increase its production rate is a result of the introduction of "station-based production" at the manufacturing plant at Eurocopter Deutschland (ECD) in Donauwörth. Under the system, final assembly of the EC135 is broken down into 13 stations at which dedicated teams complete the various assembly tasks. For example, different stations perform tasks such as mounting the landing skids, routing cables and mounting the engines. Combined with large-scale use of composites, the station-based production results in faster production times and more reliability in the assembly process.To meet the continuing growing customer demand, Eurocopter signed an agreement in November 2003 with Eurocopter-Romania (a joint venture with IAR, a Romanian helicopter manufacturer) for assembly of the EC135 in Brasov, Romania. According to the Joint Aviation Regulations, Eurocopter-Romania is also now an authorized maintenance facility for the EC135.
To further increase its maintenance and repair capability, American Eurocopter, the United States based marketing and support facility headquartered in Grand Prairie, Texas, has earned FAA repair station certification for its new facility at the Golden Triangle Airport in Columbus, Mississippi. Initially, the FAA certification will allow the maintenance and repair of AS350, AS355 and EC130B4 helicopters in the Columbus facility, but eventually the Mississippi plant will manufacture component parts for the Eurocopter production lines in Europe.
At the Helicopter Association International annual convention in Las Vegas in March, Eurocopter touted the EC135's impressive safety record (in 2003 the helicopter wasn't involved in any accidents) and provided details of the continued acceptance of the EC135 for VIP corporate, EMS, police and military missions. Its form fits many functions.