Renewed growth with new digital models for the Aerospace & Defense industry
The Aerospace & Defense industry has been ahead of the curve in terms of the adoption of digital technologies. It has already leveraged technologies such as big data, mobility, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT), to propel itself forward by increasing maintenance efficiencies and reducing aircraft downtime.
Global product development: With global engineering, the industry has been able to harness the need for global integration in design and engineering so as to compress the product life cycle. This new global growth model has presented itself in the form of emerging economies, which in addition to being supply and service bases, are strong growth markets for civilian and defense aircraft procurement hubs. New manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing are triggering the redesign of parts resulting in weight savings and cost effectiveness. OEMs are facing challenges in delivering programs within their budget due to constantly increasing spend on product development and manufacturing. The value engineering and value analysis technique is playing a critical role in the aircraft development life cycle to reduce overall product costs.
Stringent regulations: In addition to battling cyber threats, the industry is also faced with weighing sourcing decisions against counter-trade strategy and export compliance. Given the nature of the business, security will always remain top priority and the role of technology as a ‘silver bullet’ is critical – whether in implementing fail-safe security management or keeping pace with regulations.
Efficient aftermarket services: With profitability being a concern for the industry, there is a renewed focus on maximizing value by going ‘beyond repair’ in a market that demands more attention. This strategy can extend to simplifying airplane maintenance, enhancing collaboration in peer communities, offering options such as pay-per-flying-hour, and providing quick, self-service customer solutions. Mobile-enabled and analytics based predictive maintenance/repairs have also helped reduce aircraft downtime and improve effective flying hours.
In terms of direct business benefits, digital technologies have helped create positive outcomes within the industry. Fuelled by analytics, cloud computing, and the IoT, new technologies have enhanced predictive diagnostics on the production floor so as to reduce downtime and improve day-to-day operational efficiency. This is also coupled with the use of mobile-enabled manufacturing, which has helped lean operations improve efficiencies and generate greater productivity.
Finally, in cost terms, there is an enhanced OEM revenue stream provided through these new digital capabilities and assets, which will enable the industry to grow and flourish going forward.