International air traffic is growing rapidly. While worldwide growth fluctuates around 3%, aviation industry experiences a long-term growth rate of 5% and doubles its market size every 15 years. Aviation industry is therefore growing faster than any other industry.
New strategies introduced by the OEMs have increased the complexity of the supply chain. High demand of aircrafts and incremental outsourcing to tier-1 and tier-2 suppliers confronts the entire supply chain with shorter production times and higher standards.
Getting delivery delays and scarcety of materials and components under control is one oft he main challenges in a globalized future for aircraft production.
The innovative capacity of the suppliers is an important factor for the success of the aviation industry regarding it’s relatively stable growth rates dominating all other industries. Increasing demand for fuel and resource efficient aircrafts and flights leads to a growing dependency on new strategies for even more efficient production designs. New materials and processes allow suppliers to produce components for safe and economic aircrafts on an even higher level of precision. 3D printing and other new technologies evolve and open up new possibilities for future production.
Meanwhile producers are facing challenges including increasing demand for even higher precision on miniaturized manufacturing leading to an enourmus level of complexity in developing new production processes.
As one of the main drivers of change, digitalization brings a new way of thinking to the whole process of making aircrafts. Connected machines and sensors help human workers producing and maintaining more precise and more efficient. As a consequence IoT delivers a gigantic amount of data from each production process need efficient ways of analyzing and optimizing. AI might be the solution to many questions regarding the handling of big data. On the one hand cloud computing is necessary for AI systems to keep learning and improving, on the other hand security questions about critical information. This leads to one of the most important question regarding digitalization in aerospace industry: How to implement digital processing on the most efficient and most secure way?
Electrification and many innovative visions are already making its way into the automotive industry and several other industries. Global ecological issues as well as efficiency and cost reduction are the main drivers of many up-coming innovations in nearly every sector. New opportunities for electrical and autonomous flights are already evolving. The urbanization does not only impact ground traffic. It also influences the way of thinking in aerospace! New business models for short distance city hopping have been developed which results to the main question: How do these developments influence the traditional way of flying and how are the big players capable of performing well in a world under new conditions?
To make these visions of a full autonomous aircraft possible, the whole supply chain needs to build a connected system of building aircrafts, bringing them into operation and maintaining in absolute perfection.
Evolving from a military context over hobbys and sports the term “drones” became now relevant for industrial purposes. In aerospace drones are already helping to improve visual inspection processes thus reduce maintenance costs. They bring up new opportunities and astonishing flight manoeuvres. Vertical take-offs and landings as well as stable and precise air-positioning lead to a maximum of flexibility. In addition, new technologies including multirotor systems lead to new discoveries for traditional helicopters as well. New innovations include short- to mid-range individual and autonomous infrastructual solutions for everybody from new start-up suppliers to global operating OEMs.
After industrializing and digitalizing the world, most companies are facing the next big goal: saving the planet! While innovators bring up full-electric propulsion systems, conventional engines do not stop becoming more and more efficient.
Long airplane lifecycles lead to deceleration of fast growing sustainable technologies. How can OEMs as well as suppliers support the aerospace industries flexibility regarding technological and ecological change?
New regulations will limit the use of conventional techniques, but will bring new competition to the aviation industry. Both OEMs and suppliers must work together to achieve climate goals such as sustainability and more efficiency.