How Aerospace OEMs and Material Suppliers used the Economic Downturn to their Advantage

The fickle economic situation has affected the aerospace industry a great deal. It has also affected the relationship between aerospace equipment manufacturers and their suppliers.

The fact is that OEMs and suppliers depend on each other for professional success. To ensure that both sides can continue to benefit professionally, they had to rethink of the way in which they do business.


Solutions to benefit OEMs and Suppliers

Sourcing

The first point that was realized was that OEMs could no longer simply give an order to a supplier and he would provide the materials needed. With the advent of new airlines and better technology, there was a need to find the best sources for the manufacturing processes. This led the OEMs and suppliers to work in coherence to understand the materials that would work best in creating new solutions with wire harnesses that would meet the current industry demands.

Manufacturing

Earlier, to save on costs and time, a general design guideline was used by OEMs for designing and manufacturing wire harnesses. What would happen is that OEMs would ask the wire harnesses manufacturers to create a particular design. Today, more emphasis is being taken by the OEM to create wire harness designs that would suit their systems exclusively. So when wire harnesses manufacturers work with OEMs today, they are given a complete design, which they can simply manufacture according to the specifications provided by the OEM.

Servicing and Repair

In order to protect their designs and solutions, most aircraft manufacturers would conduct all the design and manufacturing processes in-house. The economic crisis made them realize that in-house servicing and repair is leading to extremely high expenses.

To cut down on expenses and staff, aircraft manufacturers started giving their wire harness servicing requirements to outside contractors. Aerospace manufacturers would also send out minor design changes to be performed by the contractors. However, the aircraft manufacturers would first finalize all the guidelines and specifications in-house. This gave them monopoly over the designs they were creating while they would save on costs thanks to outsourced manufacturing.

Testing

For testing aerospace wire harnesses and manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers could no longer depend on large, sophisticated equipment. This led to very high costs in terms of testing. OEMs began to work with computerized equipment manufacturers, who could design smaller sized portable equipment for wire harness testing. Technicians in the aerospace industry have found this new equipment to be a huge boon for their work. Equipment manufacturers are now working with OEMs to design and build small testing equipment that will have the same capabilities as the large testing equipment used by OEMs earlier.

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