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Top Aerospace Technologies & Supply Chain Trends 

What is Aerospace Technology? 

Aerospace, for the most part, refers to the atmosphere, and is a diverse, ever-evolving industry, including commercial, industrial and military elements. Aerospace engineering is made up of the research, design, manufacture and maintenance of aircraft, which requires the input of countless different companies and partners, all of whom play a vital role within this sector. 

Aerospace technology, more specifically, focusses on the construction of aircraft, as well as testing and maintenance. Manufacturing in the aerospace industry has become heavily reliant on technology and digital processes, requiring ongoing adaptation, and utilising the most up-to-date technological advances. 

Current Industry Outlook 

The aerospace industry was one of the sectors that suffered most severely during the pandemic; 2020 was classified as the worst year in history of air travel demand. While both commercial and business air travel is reaching pre-pandemic levels, it is expected that traveller’s ‘air habits’ will have changed. Longer international flights will be replaced by short-haul or domestic flights. 

Despite this, the aerospace industry is making a slow but steady recovery from the situation caused by COVID. In light of this, we have put together a list of the top technologies and supply chain trends that are happening and having a big impact wuthering the aerospace industry. 

Zero Fuel Aircraft 

With environmental impact becoming a more talked about topic, and with electric cars and vehicles taking the automotive space by storm, the aerospace industry seems determined to keep pace. Concepts of fuel-free aircraft have been unveiled by manufacturers, with the hope that they could enter service as early as 2035. Zero-emission flight is still in its infancy, yet there are various technology pathways that offer it as a possibility (many of which focus on hydrogen as a source of power). 

While this is an exciting development for aviation, it will entirely change how air travel operates, not to mention the flexibility required by aerospace manufacturers. They will need to set up whole new supply chains (alongside their existing ones), which will bring their own unique challenges. With multiple supply chains to manage (especially one that is new and largely unfamiliar), their logistic model will need to be more airtight and time-critical than ever. Businesses will need a Time Critical service who not only has a wealth of experience in the aerospace sector, but a reliable track record when it comes to top-tier service. 

Advanced Materials 

In the aerospace manufacturing space, there are a number of areas that can (and do) benefit from the use of innovative materials; lighter, more aerodynamic materials for aircraft through to stronger options to reduce potential damage. Advances are continually being made in terms of materials that can improve the way the aerospace industry operates.  

Due to the constant evolution of these materials, the needs and requirements of manufacturers are changing. One thing that remains constant, however, is their need for a reliable Time Critical logistics partner. Manufacturers will be adapting and updating their supply chains and suppliers, to ensure they keep up-to-date with the industry trends. Time Critical logistic partners who are able to help businesses remain current and who can easily adapt as the industry changes are a vital asset industry players cannot overlook. 

Additive Manufacturing 

Additive manufacturing, also known more commonly as 3D printing, has become a revolutionary manufacturing solution for countless industries, aerospace included. 3D printing components use significantly less material than more traditional methods of manufacture. The key advancement the additive manufacturing trend offers is that more complex geometric-shaped elements can be built with extreme strength, despite being made using less material on the whole. The increasing performance requirements within the industry mean that a reduction in weight is essential wherever possible. 3D printing can be done in some instances on site, while others need to be outsourced to third parties. 

This complicates the supply chain and sourcing aspects of the aerospace industry further. Much of the additional work will fall to the individual companies’ Time Critical logistics partners, especially if they control the logistics company-wide. As the supply chain lengthens and the list of suppliers expands, getting everything to run smoothly can become increasingly more difficult. Businesses, therefore, need to not only partner with a Time Critical logistics company they trust, but one they also know has the experience and, more importantly, the ability, to handle this.  

More Resilient and Dynamic Supply Chains 

The pandemic saw a significant reduction in aircraft demand and restrictions placed on goods transportation, causing many of the supply chains that supported the aerospace industry to break down. Smaller suppliers bore the main brunt of this impact, especially those who supply solely the aircraft and aerospace sector.  

As the industry recovers, supply chains are being examined and modified to be more dynamic and resilient. This can be achieved in a number of ways, including implementing vertical integrations and increasing cyber security. OEMs are also keen to strengthen their supply chains further, using smart management systems, data analytics and strong, long-term logistic partnerships. 

Ensuring the entirety of the supply chain is managed by the same Time Critical logistics company is one way of strengthening and stabilising the system, but the choice of partner is even more important. When one Time Critical logistics company takes control of a business’s entire supply chain, everything runs much smoother, communication is easier, and schedules are tighter. For this to work successfully though, your chosen Time Critical logistics partner needs to be reputable, reliable and above all capable of managing the task. 

These trends and technology advancements are just a few; there are many others, with more that are constantly being developed. With these developments, comes the aerospace industry’s need for specific suppliers to expand their ever-growing supply chain, and appropriate Time Critical logistic providers to partner with to keep things running as required.  

Royale International is an experienced Time Critical logistics provider with over 25 years of experience in the aerospace sector. Partnering with some of the world’s leading aerospace companies and manufacturers, their service is second to none. Experience is crucial when it comes to new supply chains and flexibility, something Royale International has excelled at during the global pandemic. With a dedicated team of account managers, many of whom have experience in the aerospace industry themselves, they can help streamline everything, from customs clearance to Time Critical deliveries. For more information about how Royale International can help businesses navigate these, and all other aerospace trends that are sure to follow, click here: 

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