With airlines around the world ordering new aircraft and demanding technological innovation, the global aerospace industry is growing and aerospace suppliers must become more pioneering and flexible to keep up. The industry faces some key challenges during the next decade and beyond. Suppliers must design and develop more complex parts and systems, with higher technology content, in shorter lead times, and at a competitive cost; as well as upgrade production capabilities to meet growing demands.

During the past decade demand for commercial aircraft has gradually expanded, due to a continuous global growth in demand for passenger and cargo transport, particularly by air. The BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India, and China, are seeing huge demand for planes as a result of increasing population and wealth, and transport in the Middle East is also growing, as the region aims to become a hub for air transport.

Aircraft manufacturer forecasts suggest that global demand for new aircraft in the next 20 years will reach nearly 40,000 units, an increase of over 20 per cent compared to the 1993 to 2013 period. Only around 15,000 of the new aircraft will replace existing planes; the rest will be needed for traffic growth.

Current large commercial aircraft programmes are meeting this demand, and existing programmes at Airbus and Boeing are expected to last until 2030. This ensures a strong market demand and a high throughput rate for the supply chain, evidence of this comes from the production rates for the A320 and the Boeing 737 that have exceeded 40 aircraft a month.

These challenges come at a time when the industry must deal with a number of exogenous issues. As well as growth for both original equipment and spare parts, the airlines require increased diversity for each aircraft model. The industry faces competition from emerging countries, with OEMs creating an international supply base, and regulators that are creating stronger environmental and noise legislation for aircraft.

To address the challenges the tiered supply chain must adopt manufacturing excellence initiatives to support the ramp-up in production and to reduce direct and indirect costs via lean initiatives. These initiatives aim to smooth production flows through more automation, limiting workforce variations.

Suppliers that have implemented these kinds of initiatives have reached new levels of on-time delivery, nearing 96 to 97 per cent. Now, the challenge is for them to maintain this level while increasing volume as demand grows for original equipment and aftersales markets,

Securing the supply chain is a key priority as the aerospace industry faces new challenges. To ensure survival, suppliers need to take significant measures to manage growth and cope with accelerating production ramp-up, while integrating new technologies such as composites, electrification, and new generation engines. There is also a need to boost innovation capacities to support OEMs in their efforts to reduce fuel consumption by 50 per cent in the mid-term.

Aimed primarily at precision engineering companies involved with the production of aero structure components ‘Essentials for Excellence in Aerospace Manufacturing’ is a collaborative one-day conference that has been developed to address the challenges faced by manufacturers within the industry. Organised by CGTech and TTL, the conference will be held between 9.30am and 3.30pm at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Ansty, Coventry, on Thursday, 26th November 2015. Register at:

Illustrating an end-to-end programming and verification process the presentations by CGTech, Siemens PLM and TTL will highlight reducing the lead-time required for installing machine turnkeys by using virtual simulation to prove the technology; component optimisation with the efficient reprogramming of parts already in production to take advantage of the latest machine performance and capability, as well as reducing time with knowledge re-use.

Knowledge Re-use will be the focus of TTL, it includes the original CAD model, associativity with Siemens NX CAD/CAM software, toolpath generation, templates and libraries. This is logically followed by Simulation and Verification presented by CGTech, and will consider the VERICUT link to Siemens NX and the transfer of fixtures, tool library and stock materials.

The next step in the chain is NC Toolpath Verification, and CGTech will focus on verification and capture of mistakes leading to an error-free part and comparing the machined part to the original design using the Autodiff module. TTL will then consider and compare different machining strategies and the Replacement Assistant that incorporates design change, for easy reprogramming of any parts. The shopfloor application of VERICUT’s collaborative tool, Reviewer, that can run on PCs and Apple iPads, provides the final link in the process chain.

The guest speaker at the event is Mark Heyman, MSc MIET, Chief of Manufacturing Engineering – CAM and Shop Floor Systems, Rolls-Royce. As well as an overview of Rolls-Royce’s business with a view to the company’s manufacturing global footprint specific to CAM, he will highlight what is CAM at Rolls-Royce, the VERICUT timeline and a real business case study looking at before and after the introduction of the VERICUT to Siemens NX interface.


Note to Editors

About CGTech

Headquartered in Irvine, California CGTech specialises in numerical control (NC/CNC) simulation, verification, optimisation and analysis software technology for manufacturing. Since 1988 CGTech’s product, VERICUT® software, has become the industry standard for simulating CNC machining in order to detect errors, potential collisions or areas of inefficiency. CGTech has an extensive network of offices and resellers throughout the world.  For more information, visit the CGTech website at, call +44 (0)1273 773538, or email

About TTL

With more than 150 years of combined hands-on experience in CNC programming, multi- axis machining and an in-house NX driven machine shop, TTL is uniquely placed to provide the expert help and support required to maximise the return on a CAM investment. Recognising this experience and expertise, Siemens Industry Software has chosen TTL to be their UK specialist CAM partner. Serving the Aerospace, Power Generation, Motorsport, Medical and Pharmaceutical industries, TTL provides NX CAM sales and support through a professional, dedicated and expert team that is focused on solving clients’ machine programming problems, and is committed to helping customers get the best out of Siemens PLM Software technology.