In a future of mega cities, sustainability efforts and increased global mobility, the aerospace industry needs to double its production output while maintaining sky-high quality control. With the help of digitalization and smart connected tools, it is possible to implement and take the best of industry 4.0.
It feels like air travel has reached its peak today, it has in fact only just begun. The aircraft production has more than doubled every decade since the 70’s, and it is expected to continuous this growth in the same or even faster pace.
This does not only put enormous pressure on the industry to increase its productivity. New aircrafts will be designed using lighter and more sustainable materials, which creates the need for new assembly methods.
The global middle-class is growing and our urban areas are expanding rapidly. It has been estimated that the number of megacities (with over 10 million people) will rise from 55 to 93 until year 2035. Urban citizens are mobile by definition, and a majority of the world’s population will soon have the urge and economy to travel by air in the years to come.
The amount of aircrafts in the sky will be double in 15-20 years. This is around 40.000 and on top of this, 75% of the existing aircrafts has to be replaced. Consequently, it means a production number of 35.000 aircrafts.
The aerospace industry needs to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50 % over the next 30 years. This can be accomplished party by producing more efficient flying vehicles, but the manufacturers will also need to improve production methods and use smarter tools.
Automation is by now widely implemented in the industry, and the global output has increased from 70 aircrafts per month in the year 2000, to up to 150 today, while the demand for aircrafts has increased four times. Consequently, the next step is to use smart digital tools and connectivity in order to lead the way into the future.
Through smart connected assembly solutions, you can gain a better control of the entire production process. Smart tools give us immediate feedback from each operation. While collecting data to verify the overall quality of the process, this also helps the operators avoid mistakes.
One of the benefits from an industry 4.0 approach is higher production output with fewer mistakes. Every plant manager or assembly expert knows the costs associated with simple, human errors. Transparency and real-time data analysis can significantly help reduce these costs.
The biggest cost is in the paper work. One single part can have a high cost,, and every repair lowers the market value of the aircraft significantly. Not to mention costs for delays in the production line and fines for missing the customer delivery deadline.
It’s not just the traditional aircraft production that can intensify in the years to come. Along with the before-mentioned mega cities, there seems to be a growing demand for smaller, urban flying vehicles.
Also, the demand for more space satellites will also put increased pressure on the aerospace industry. And that’s where smart connected tools can make a huge difference.
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