Industry 4.0 will be a major theme at the International Paris Air Show.
Over recent years, major OEMs, primes and tier 1 suppliers have been investing in new digitally integrated, advanced modern technologies and I am excited to see the latest advances at the Show next week.
BAE Systems, for example, has introduced a host of digital enhancements - including collaborative robots (cobots) designed to support its workforce with the complex manufacturing of combat aircraft and further drive productivity, quality and safety improvements.
In addition, Meggitt’s new ground-breaking £130 million ‘super-site’ in Coventry, which is due to open later this year, is the flagship development of its quest to embrace future technology.
The picture, however, is somewhat different when it comes to some SMEs in the supply chain.
There are a number of forerunning SMEs exploring niche technologies such as automation, additive manufacturing and 3D printing, with others implementing collaborative working processes with OEMS, primes and tier 1 suppliers to reduce costs, enhance customisation and reduce timeframes.
For some SMEs who are yet to fully adopt a more digital mindset, and may be apprehensive about doing so, there is a misconception of just how daunting this change actually needs to be.
Embracing Aerospace 4.0 Doesn't REquire an Overhaul
Many will hear the phrase Industry 4.0 or Aerospace 4.0 and associate the terms with OEMs, robotics and automation where there is a requirement for huge change and hefty capital investment. However, while there is no one size fits all when it comes to how Industry 4.0 will affect/improve a business, that almost certainly doesn’t have to be the case.
This should be considered as the next step in continuous improvement. It can often be small but very targeted and strategic changes that can have a significant impact on productivity and ultimately, the bottom line. This could include analysing big data; accessing, managing, analysing, and leveraging data from digital assets to inform decision-making in real time, for example, introducing sensors to collect data to aid maintenance planning.
Industry 4.0 - Where do I Start?
If you aren’t sure how Industry 4.0 will affect your business, then take a look at one of our previous blogs, which outlines the benefits of utilising trade associations and the Future of British Manufacturing Initiative as starting points on your journey.
See you at the Paris Air Show!
Jonathan Lee, Jason Cole and I are attending the International Paris Air Show between the 18-19th June. Visit jonlee.co.uk/parisairshow and get in touch if you are flying the GB flag at this year’s event!
Find out more about the show: siae.fr/en/