The future of aerospace manufacturing is digital

To keep pace with an increasingly competitive international market, it’s crucial that the UK’s aerospace industry continues to find ways to improve passenger experience whilst scaling back costs and becoming more energy efficient. To support this, the UK Government invested £100 million last year, aiming to attract new skills, technology and innovation to the industry. Finding new means of reducing weight, cutting down on emissions, and increasing cargo and cabin capacity, airline manufacturers have embraced the spirit of innovation by turning to the latest in digital manufacturing technology as the key way forward. Organisations across a range of industries are currently enjoying new and exciting opportunities to transform their business and improve their speed to market through employing digital manufacturing technology. The advances in automation and the new types of manufacturing processes it offers, running in parallel with significant developments in existing technology, represent part of an ongoing transformation within the aerospace industry. Advancements in 3D printing techniques in particular are already delivering tangible benefits to manufacturers as a means of reducing material and labour costs, enabling them to test small parts and components such as those critical to the construction of landing gear and engines. In the recent United Launch Alliance between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, for example, a move to 3D printing technology for the manufacture of components saved the companies a reported $1m in a year.



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