5 stories to watch at Farnborough International Airshow 2018

5 stories to watch at Farnborough International Airshow 2018

Accenture’s aerospace and defense practice global managing director John Schmidt (above) highlights trends to watch.

July 13, 2018
Edited by Eric Brothers

A wave of defense business news and fascinating technological innovations will be stories to watch at the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) starting July 16. Among them:

• Growth in the defense market. Geopolitical changes globally in the last year have resulted in more money being spent on defense aircraft, bringing an upward swing to a market that’s experienced years of sluggishness compared with the commercial sector. At nearly $700 billion, the latest U.S. defense spending budget – a 12.5% increase over last year’s budget (versus a 2.4% increase the year before) – is the largest in U.S. history, reversing years of decline and foretelling major changes in global defense investments.

• Blockchain. Blockchain is a distributed ledger system that maintains and records data in a way that allows multiple stakeholders to confidently and securely share access to the same information. You’ll hear not only how this innovative distributed ledger technology can reduce aircraft maintenance costs and verify the accuracy of data, but why it has the potential to totally change the industry’s supply chain paradigm.

• The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to address industry challenges. Whether it’s to improve processes for addressing material defects in aircraft production or simply identify whether a shop floor operator is wearing the appropriate safety gear, AI is becoming more common throughout the industry. According to Accenture’s “Launchpad to Relevance” report, more than two-thirds (67%) of organizations will invest in AI during the next year, with plans to use the technology in production, security, and research and development.

• The digital thread. By extending data flows for a specific product across its entire lifecycle, from ideation to design, engineering, performance, manufacturing and service, the digital thread raises the bar for having “the right information in the right place at the right time.” The addition of new technologies like blockchain to the digital thread further improves the accuracy, consistency, and security of data flowing throughout an aircraft’s lifecycle. By linking an asset’s digital twin to the data that asset generates in design, engineering, manufacturing, and the aftermarket, the digital thread enables a new level of data sharing and data insight throughout the asset’s lifetime.

• The Digital Factory. This emerging technological construct promises to increase aircraft production and accelerate aircraft deliveries. Digital factories use digital technology to enable manufacturing personnel to configure, model, simulate, assess, and evaluate activities within the entire manufacturing process. They’re poised to play a large role in the aerospace industry, driven by increased aircraft production and the need to improve manufacturing productivity.

These will all be stories to watch at FIA because they help solve some of the industry’s most vexing problems: securing and sharing data; tracing product parts; lowering aircraft maintenance production costs; accelerating product deliveries; and improving product quality and reliability.

Accenture will be in Chalet H1.