The aerospace and defense (A&D) industry are enjoying slow yet steady growth. The industry grew by 2.4% in 2016 to $674.4 billion, which slightly outpaced the United States’ GDP growth of 2.3%. This was driven by continued growth in the European A&D industry, increased global defense spending in the US, as well as increased revenue in sectors such as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and electronics.
Intelligent Automation for greater efficiency
Both Accenture and BCG (Boston Consulting Group) list Intelligent Automation – use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), advanced robots, Augmented Reality (AR) – as an important digital technology trend for the future of the industry. Some of the Aerospace & Defence (A&D) companies are already investing in these technologies to improve their operations, and “eight out of ten (A&D businesses) expect their investment in automation related to production and maintenance to increase over the next three years”.
Additive Manufacturing, or better known as 3-D Printing, is definitely on the rise amongst A&D companies for manufacturing purposes (aerospace parts, components, and prototypes). Not only does it improve the overall productivity, but it also allows for decentralized production which, at the end of the day, will reduce costs and save time.
Big Data & Analytics for better optimization
Big Data and Analytics have the potential to transform operations management and optimize it for better and faster decision-making. For instance, A&D businesses can use big data and analytics to plan program management activities or to forecast new opportunities for reducing costs in the supply chain. The list of possibilities goes on and on.
Focus on Cybersecurity
Accenture’s report highlights that the implementation of new digital technologies in A&D companies carries new risks such as privacy and security breaches. The situation is getting increasingly serious, as “39 percent of aerospace and defense executives say that the number of incidents has doubled, and 18 percent report three times as many breaches compared with two years ago”. Hence the tremendous need to focus on cybersecurity in order to manage operations in the digital era.
Nevertheless, this incremental growth shouldn’t be taken for granted. A&D manufacturers, in particular, face challenges across their operations from raw materials procurement to new technologies that will impact production.
Feel free to contact E-SPIN for the various technology solution that can facilitate your aerospace and defense(A&D) from infrastructure availability, security monitoring to technology transformation.