Start Small, Grow Slowly and SustainabilityThu, 12/01/2016 - 11:11
Q: What advice does Aeroconsulteck give small companies that have received certification?
A: Aeroconsulteck Mexico was founded in 2001 with the goal of developing the Mexican aerospace industry, with a particular focus on SMEs. Our goal was to import aerospace expertise from Canada and the US and to transfer knowledge and industry experience to local companies. These smaller enterprises were intended to become suppliers that would support OEMs and Tier 1 businesses operating in Mexico, especially in Queretaro.
Aeroconsulteck Mexico is a member of FEMIA and of the Queretaro Aerocluster. We won a public bid to guide 25 SMEs through the AS 9100C certification, which is vital for companies interested in supplying aerospace manufacturers. We were pleased that 18 SMEs completed the certification successfully, including Elastómeros de Querétaro, Laser Manufacturing, Global Composites and Frol. Aeroconsulteck conveyed its vision to these companies to think and dream big to develop the Mexican aerospace industry. We advise aspiring companies to start small, to grow slowly and sustainably and to take advantage of opportunities. Aerospace companies’ entering the industry must have a long-term vision to survive because profit margins take longer to develop than in other industries and they likely will not see a return on their investment until after about three years of operation. Mexican SMEs must be prepared for that.
Q: What would help the local aerospace industry compete at a global level?
A: International companies are operating in highly specialized aerospace segments in Mexico but few Mexican entities are competing in the market. OEMs and Tier 1s, including Boeing, Bombardier, Safran and Airbus Helicopters among others, are mainly using Mexican resources for what they consider labor-intensive operations. If we do not consolidate the supply chain as a country, competition from foreign suppliers entering the local clusters may undermine Mexico’s chances to grow in aerospace.
To remain competitive, the government created CENTA as part of CIDESI to be purely dedicated to the aerospace industry. When it is up and running, CENTA will perform design and research operations for aeronautical components, material testing and certification as well as Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) and human capital training. The center was constructed in Queretaro’s aerospace industrial park so it could work with the Aerocluster there as well as FEMIA to harmonize their efforts toward the same goals. To offer the workforce the best programs, CENTA has also established connections with renowned universities in Europe. Aeroconsulteck Mexico has created a detailed longterm plan to meet the goals set out in ProAéreo for 2020, including industry integration. The plan includes a resultsoriented program that would incubate aerospace companies with existing AS 9100C certified SMEs, which are already capable and willing to enter the industry. CENTA, in line with the Aerocluster, FEMIA and the government, may develop a shelter program to help local and foreign OEMs and Tier 1s to continue developing locally, by ensuring all the necessary conditions for their consolidation. Finally, CENTA would lead the Aerospace Training Center and take advantage of Mexican and foreign universities. Specializing and increasing the skill sets of professional graduates in Mexico would help companies to compete in the global market.
Q: How can Aeroconsulteck support the local sector’s future growth and improve visibility for smaller industry players?
A: Aeroconsulteck is researching 10 SMEs with varied manufacturing capabilities that could form part of the state’s supply chain, generating parts and components for Bombardier Aerospace and PPC, initially. If we can extend local company’s participation and diversify their areas of expertise, Mexican industry will benefit from reduced manufacturing costs. Processing parts locally would also drop logistics costs and therefore attract more investment.
Aeroconsulteck will provide support and training to SMEs to create business plans and for new certifications, as well as manufacturing methods and any specific training that customer specifications may stipulate. We hope that our alliance with CENTA, the Aerocluster and FEMIA will help us develop a reliable supply chain in Queretaro.