Aviation Industry stepping towards Smart Factory & Sustainability Post COVID-19
Many industries are on their path to overcome the loss and business disruption faced during the initial stage of the pandemic. The aviation industry was one of the many industries that witnessed almost an 80 percent halt in its services and operations.
The many races of forecasts and estimations to look for a possibility of overcoming the impact of COVID-19 suggested a slow growth and even a slower economy. IATA’s (The International Association of Airline) recent forecast indicated that airlines will need more than $200 billion in bailout money to sustain operations beyond July.
However, slow it may sound or be, the COVID-19 crisis has brought some deep perspectives into the view, some being more focused on to restore sustainable orientation and some on adopting efficient technologies and taking the time to enhance operations with industry 4.0
smart factory technologies.
Aviation industry post-COVID-19
The aviation industry is not just for air travel, it also facilitates tourism spending, provides a way for spending on lodgings, connects travelers with the world, and also for local and business transportation. Also, the strain due to the impact on the aviation industry along with the other correlated industries such as manufacturers, suppliers are all to (and will continue to be) stand and face a broad strip of the global economy quite soundly into 2022 and beyond.
COVID-19 did not just hit the global air traffic in the aviation industry, it even impacted both the transport, supply, and demand.
Many different brands and companies in the aviation industry are trying to take the unsolicited time they received due to COVID-19 out to try their hands on the betterment of the industry and to step on a more sustainable route than it was before the crisis along with the solutions of a smart industry or industry 4.0 era.
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A few figures show how mobility fell at an unprecedented level, such as around 4 billion people subject to various movement restrictions around the world, air traffic in Europe reduced by around 90%, and 5 to 10% of trains in circulation in France. Shared mobility platforms, such as BlaBlaCar, have announced an activity equivalent to 2 to 5% of their normal activity according to Deloitte.
Moreover, due to COVID-19 many industries have been adopting technologies or using them to overcome the post-COVID-19 cost-out requirements. Moreover,industry experts and service industry experts claimed the adoption or deployment of technology in industries is to be on average from 66% either to 87%. Aircraft manufacturers have limited their usage and adoption of technologies such as IoT (internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence), Analytics, and Virtual Reality up to POCs, lagging thus far behind the other sectors of the industry.
As per expert consultation, the industry should aim at the deployment of such technologies and adopt the smart factory approach to get into the industry 4.0 era and slowdown in the race of production as the mobility is already low. This could be used as those times where the break comes us as fruitful and beneficial for both, the service providers and its customers.
Adopting the smart factory approach and digitization can help the aircraft manufacturing and apply chain in reaping the benefits in the product quality, production capacity utilization, safety and security, and operations and maintenance costs. This can offer improved methods of working and let them in on the ways to overcome the post-COVID-19 economic and services challenge in a whole new way. Gaining efficiency at such a period of post-crisis will definitely act as candles of light in the dark.
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Advantages of Smart Factory technologies in the Aviation industry
The aviation industry and other sectors of the industry can utilize and benefit from the smart factory app technologies in different ways. As the smart factory technologies present everything that is digital and technology-based, it uses equipped assets and processes based on the Internet of Things which enables the aircraft manufacturers to track a wide set of KPIs in real-time.
This offers a reduction of process variability, helps in enhancing performance, and also yields in asset capacity-utilization improvement from 10 to 20 percent.
The proactivity and predictive maintenance offered by the smart factory technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and analytics helps immensely in the manufacturing of the aviation industry by presenting early detection of process anomaly or aircraft defects with the help of smart sensors. Sensors also help in informing of the necessary reworks that are to be performed to enhance the operations and avoid disruption. Smart factory technologies can reduce operations and maintenance costs by 20-30%.
As for achieving sustainability, the presence of technological and advanced analytical process control can help in boosting efficiency by cutting GHG emissions.
Also, as per the estimates of Airbus, energy consumption in aircraft production could be reduced by 20%, for algorithms offer energy-saving measures, based on smart meters’ usage data. Not to forget the benefit of robotics and automation in making the product dismantling and recycling a bit easier.
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