Industry insights roamed wild during February’s Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance 2012 Aerospace Conference, but Axiom Electronics’ own Jason Johnson attended the conference and returned with some insights to share.
First, and most important to the Pacific Northwest, the aerospace industry is alive and well. Manufacturing orders are solid and the industry continues to enjoy steadfast growth. While general aviation is still suffering from the economic downturn, business and commercial aviation are climbing and actually driving the market. Analyst firm G2 Solutions reported that they expect “very strong growth over 5 to 10 years.”
The second trend is that offshore competition is strong, but suffering from challenges. Chinese aerospace manufacturers are battling low market share, difficulty integrating with the market, and gathering the proper engineering talent. While Airbus is strong and continues to grow, Boeing maintains its primacy with better revenue and margins, and a highly competitive outlook for the near future.
Concerning Boeing, reports from the conference consistently showed that Boeing is benefiting from a series of trends in the aerospace industry. Boeing continues following the example in many industries of narrowing (but thickening) the supply chain and asking suppliers to add more value to their offering, whether it is product or service. Boeing managers spoke of partnering with their suppliers and working to build a trust relationship that results in better product and deliveries, but this requires that suppliers step-up to the responsibilities of objectively tracking and measuring their results in order to continuously improve. Risk management, lean manufacturing, and waste reduction are constant themes in the race to stay ahead in efficiency.
Another trend is the airlines driving efficiency in their business in order to maximize profits while still competing in a competitive pricing market. This trend fuels Boeing’s objective of designing and producing more efficient planes in order to meet competitive challenges, and Boeing’s response is currently working.
In the unmanned vehicle space, procurement is dropping while R&D is climbing. UAVs are now accepted tools in the military world. The advancements for UAVs are in updating the existing platforms through weaponizing, encryption, rising video resolution, and expanded missions. Innovation will play a major role in the growth of UAV activity. With reduced defense budgets, dollars will be spent on existing, low-risk platforms, rather than introducing entirely new aerial platforms. Increasing amounts will be spent on extending capabilities on these tried and true systems, resulting in opportunities for suppliers involved in delivery of upgraded payloads for these UAVs.
Axiom has a solid history in working with UAV electronics development and production. The Axiom reputation for high-reliability and on-time delivery of complex electronics meets the current industry needs and continues to evolve in alignment with future industry trends. Axiom is a leader in Lean manufacturing and one of very few “ESD certified facilities” in the U.S. Positioned to deliver products at consistently high standards in a timely manner, Axiom is the low-risk vendor in the market place for complex, high reliability applications.
Contact Jason Johnson at Axiom Electronics for a more detailed discussion.