July 23, 2018, © Leeham News, Farnborough: Digital technology, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Thread and Digital Factory technologies continue to gain momentum for aerospace production as companies throughout the supply chain strive to cut costs.
The consulting firm Accenture, in advance of the international air shows in Paris or Farnborough, identifies that it sees as the key stories that will come out of the show.
Accenture was on target for Farnborough.
Indeed, the show was low energy, with fewer orders than many past shows. The largest orders came from that ubiquitous company, Unidentified (though more than 200 airplanes are believed to be destined for China).
Some companies sent smaller delegations or didn’t come at all.
The headline out of United Technologies was about digital. It was just one example of the digital stories at Farnborough this year.
LNC and I have talked throughout the last year about production transformation in the drive to lower costs, gain efficiencies and through automation address the increasing scarcity of the workforce pool.
John Schmidt, the global managing director for Accenture’s global aerospace practice, said the five themes named above also strive to improve product quality, security of product delivery, identify potential production issues and improve parts tracking and identify potential production anomalies.
“We move to solve problems, improve schedules and improve quality,” Schmidt said in an interview at the air show.
Predictive maintenance—tracking the health of airframe and engine systems—helps spot developing trends and gives maintenance teams the ability to either be ready to fix a problem on landing or preempt one from developing into a delay-making issue.
Schmidt said Accenture serves the full bandwidth in the supply chain.
“We can go as far down as needed,” he said, limited only by what contracts between the OEM and the supplier allows because access to proprietary information is needed to get the full benefit of tracking, quality control, production, etc.
Going into the show, Accenture outlined the following:
At the show, Airbus touted its Skywise program launched a year ago that performs functions similar to that of Accenture.
Launched a year ago with four airlines and 20 internal applications, today 22 airlines covering 2,500 aircraft with 3.5pb of aviation data, 6,000 active users and more than 12m flights have been served.
Airbus uses the systems across six production plants in six countries.
Airbus suppliers use Skywise.
The digital transformation continues to pick up steam.