Onward and Upward: Aerospace' Digital Transformation

Onward and Upward: Aerospace' Digital Transformation

Manufacturing Technology Insights | Thursday, December 10, 2020

3D printing can assist the aerospace industry by enabling single parts’ production through to production-ready components. It also has the added benefit of reducing the amount of management involved in aerospace R&D, thus increasing a manufacturer’s effectiveness and competence.

FREMONT, CA: Today’s aircraft have closely three times the number of software-driven functions as their predecessors, further emphasizing the need for digital technology strategic planning. Therefore, most aerospace firms are expecting their investments in digital technologies to lessen manufacturing delays.

Moving Toward Digitalization

As most manufacturing settings enter the fourth industrial revolution, substantial modernization is taking place, with businesses presenting a range of digital manufacturing processes. While some have highlighted the move toward digitalization as a movement that will attract students toward a career in engineering, it is questionable to offer the complete solution to the aerospace industry’s workforce issues (and manufacturing in general).  However, the amplified demand for hardware and software engineers to operate new, progressive, digital processes may overcome the initial attraction hurdle by fetching excitement back to the industry, helping entice, and retaining talent in manufacturing.

Consider 3D printing, a predominantly exciting technology that is frequently evolving, even after three decades into its existence. 3D printing empowers product developers across various businesses to swiftly produce high-quality prototypes appropriate for assembly tests and performances. More than just prototypes, 3D printing can be employed to produce production-ready parts, although only a small number of firms have taken advantage of this production method.

Like any sector, the needs of different aerospace businesses will vary significantly. In such cases, 3D printing can aid them by enabling single parts’ production through to production-ready components. It also has the added benefit of reducing the amount of management involved in aerospace R&D, thus increasing a manufacturer’s effectiveness and competence.

The latest expansions in on-demand production competencies, coupled with a range of advanced manufacturing technologies, will eventually offer aerospace manufacturers the means of saving time and money that they need to present new designs and advanced choices for customers. By adapting their conventional supply chain and embracing the modern digital and prototyping services, the aerospace sector will have the aptitude to support the development predicted over the next ten years and beyond.

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