Now more than ever the Aero sector faces overcapacity and slim order books. Many of us have lived through previous slumps in the aerospace sector: the 911 attacks and the financial crisis to name just two. We know recovery will come, and the companies that survive and prosper in the future are those that are able to adapt to and embrace the new market.
Right now, suppliers may find opportunity to win work as OEMs focus on cost reduction. Often this is linked with improved production quality/efficiency, manufacturing speed and engineering innovation. As the market stabilises, those that are in a strong financial position are able to use the downturn to play the offensive – investing to enhance their market share through new technologies that enable better engineering solutions and overcome the limitations of the incumbent production methods. For those in weaker positions, the solution is often to pare back and sell on non-core and low margin work, enabling renewed focus on core competencies and, again, wise investment to build advantage in areas of strength.
Aluminium is expensive. Particularly when you machine away material from a block to produce complex parts, much of the metal you paid for is going to scrap. There is a costly imbalance between the weight of the metal you purchased and the metal that constitutes your final “flying” component.
At Impression Technologies we have practical examples of the re-design of metallic parts from existing production methods towards HFQ®. Recent projects we have completed have identified opportunities for the development of high-strength and high temperature aluminium alloys and the associated forming routes.