Luciano Rizzo
Managing Director
Sandvik Coromant Mexico

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The Transformation of the Aerospace Industry

By Luciano Rizzo | Tue, 05/03/2022 - 18:00

Since its inception, the aerospace industry has experienced various innovations and has been a pioneer in several of them, transforming the lives of millions of people and allowing a connection between the various latitudes that has favored commercial and cultural exchange, diversification, development, education and the world economy.

The global aerospace supply chain comprises a wide range of products, from airplanes, helicopters and engines to different components and assembly systems. One of the most significant adoptions is that of Industry 4.0 in aerospace companies, which consists of introducing digital tools within factories offering significant benefits. Among these are:

Manufacturing

Digitalization involves obtaining a large amount of data that offers predictive and accurate analysis that, gradually, has led to innovative ways of reducing the weight and the number of materials necessary for the manufacturing of aircraft parts without losing quality and, of course, security.

Since its founding in 1942, Sandvik Coromant has had a close partnership with the aircraft industry, and through hard work, research and analysis, coupled with in-depth application knowledge, we are at the forefront with an outstanding offering of industry solutions. Thanks to strong R&D support and close cooperation with both customers and machine builders, we offer tools and solutions for machining aerospace engine and frame parts.

Aerospace production in Mexico is concentrated in commercial civil aviation. Most of the exports are engines, fuselages, landing gear, connection systems, doors and other components, with destinations in the US, France, Germany and Canada.

Design

With the implementation of digitalization, technology allows engineers to create and visualize digital parts in 3D before they are manufactured as well as simulate the conditions to which these parts will be exposed.

Maintenance

The information used to carry out the virtual models is collected from the aircraft in real time. As a result, engineers can receive all necessary data to know how they work in-depth and what happens with each of the pieces. This is how Industry 4.0 allows these parts to be analyzed and handled more efficiently, increasing the life expectancy of each. The information can also be used to determine the wear of the entire aircraft, which allows us to reduce the repair time on the ground, also increasing accuracy.

The trailers don't just focus on these improvements. Currently, aviation is an essential element of mobility and connectivity and efforts to turn it into a sustainable industry, which generates a minimal or neutral impact on the environment, are increasing.

In 2021, during the conference “Airports: polluting sources,” organized by the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (Cinvestav), Saltillo, as part of the Natural Resources and Energy Sustainability Program, Erándeni Calderón, Director of the degree in Management and Administration of Airports in Air Business at the Universidad Regional del Norte (URN), highlighted that through the adoption of strategies focused on the protection of the environment, Mexico has become one of the most advanced Latin American countries when it comes to the reduction of pollutants in the aviation industry, certainly a great incentive.

Given the challenges it has faced since 2019, the aerospace industry has set a goal of redefining the development of supply chains that allow connecting large companies with smaller and medium-sized companies, supporting more investments in new companies that enter the aerospace cluster to maintain the 14 percent growth that was seen in this industry before the health contingency.

According to statements by the Mexican Federation of the Aerospace Industry (FEMIA), during 2022, exports from this sector are expected to total approximately US$8 billion. In addition, it was announced that, currently, Mexico ranks 14th in aerospace manufacturing and sixth as a world exporter of aerospace components and ranks among the Top 10 component suppliers for the US market. Likewise, FEMIA announced that the estimated number of exports in 2020 was US$6.250 billion and in 2021, US$7.625 billion.

In Mexico, out of all the companies that operate in the aeronautics sector, 80 percent are mainly dedicated to manufacturing, mostly basic components, 10 percent are focused on research and 10 percent are focused on maintenance and repair.

According to data from the Ministry of Economy, more than 300 companies related to this sector operate in our country, while in 2005 there were only 60. These numbers demonstrate the growth that has taken place over the years.

Demand will continue to increase, so we will also continue to be at the forefront of offering solutions for the aerospace industry and striving to exceed all expectations.

Photo by:   Luciano Rizzo