In the last few years, the aerial flow has significantly increased due to it becoming an attractive mean for the movement of people and merchandise, with advantages such as less transfer times and low possibility of accidents.
Before the growing market of this transportation mean, the demand of airplanes has likely triggered, therefore currently, manufacturers have waiting lists for their customers which sometimes can take years.
In 2015, the world production value of the aerospace sector increased to 582.6 billion dollars. North America (including Mexico) continues to be the region with more participation, with 51.1 % of the total; followed by Europe, with 31.02 %; and Asia – Pacific with 13.93 %. These three areas concentrate 96.05 % of the world production.
The aerospace Industry in Mexico has showed an important dynamism during the last years, in exporting, as well as other important variables of employment, investment and internal product, show growth rates above the average of the manufacture industry.
The aerospace sector has received 2,860 million dollars per IED concept, during the last 10 years, from which, 85 % has been for the manufacturing of aerospace equipment and the 15 % for activities of maintenance and repair.
There are aerospace companies with a background of operation in Mexico for more than 20 years, it is as of 2005 that this Industry started to take off, mainly due to the arrival of aircraft manufacture companies, known as original equipment, as well as first level supplier companies leaders worldwide which found in Mexico the conditions to invest and keep high standards of safety and quality, offering advantages that make it attractive for investment in aerospace manufacture.
80 % of aeronautic companies installed in Mexico are dedicated to manufacture. Most products are helix, rotors, landing gear, revolving blades, airplane and helicopter parts, and spare parts for both types of aircrafts.
Enrique Maldonado Cervantes, supply chain development in the Mexican Federation of Aerospace Industries (FEMIA, by its Spanish initials) said that the organism has 104 members that participate in the manufacture and transportation of the product and represent about 80 % of the export in the country.
“The aerospace Industry is growing two digits per year, our objective is to maintain these figures and FEMIA strengthens the value chain in order for more companies can participate and that Mexican companies of this sector be more competitive. With the new aeronautic trend companies dedicated to forge are required,” he explained.
Cervantes referred that in order to enter the value chains, Mexican companies need to be willing to participate and be certified in the standards of the aerospace sector.
Industry 4.0 and the aerospace sector
With the implementation of Industry 4.0, the aerospace sector allows the generation of comprehensive digital models that can be used for testing and identify weaknesses under pressure conditions, as corrosion for example, what enables making the pertinent rectifications before investing in prototypes. If this process is used in an airplane of 300 million dollars, as minimum that amount can be saved by eliminating the need of manufacturing testing prototypes.
Foreign companies are already investing in Industry 4.0 practices in Mexico.
In January, the American multinational Honeywell opened a new I&D center in Mexico City, to develop technological solutions for the aerospace and automotive industries.
Projections for 2020
Exports from the Mexican Aerospace sector reached 5,463 billion dollars in 2013. According to estimations of the “Strategic Program of the Aerospace Industry 2010-2020,” coordinated by the Ministry of Economy (SE, by its Spanish initials) it is expected for the industry to have exports of 12 thousand 267 million dollars for 2020, with an annual average growth of 14 %.
For 2020, the list of the ten largest producers of the aerospace industry will be the United States, France, Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan, China, Russia, Italy and Mexico.
There were 320 companies from the sector in 320 and for 2020 it is expected that there will be 450 and 500. In 2006 there were only 109 companies.
Eugenio Marin, coordinator at TechBA Aerospace, said that manufacture Mexican companies have an opportunity of developing in the aerospace industry, “not only by the existing market demand, but that the technical capabilities of these niches are issues in which manufacture companies have plenty of experience working for other industries.”
Marin recommended companies to expand horizons and “change the compass a little” towards a niche or sector with more added values such as aerospace.
“Nor the industry has grown at an annual double digit growing speed in the last 10 years. It is sought that in 2020 are achieved 12 billion dollars of exports, which is 40 % more than what is being exported today in aeronautic products manufactured in Mexico,” Marin added.
On the other hand, Rodolfo Martinez Vilchis, general manager at Indumet Aerospace, emphasized that in the Estado de Mexico is necessary to encourage this industry growth even more since about 80 % of the aerospace companies installed in Mexico are in five States: Baja California, Sonora, Queretaro, Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon.
“The Estado de Mexico has the technological capabilities to develop aerospace projects. We need to support the development of the sector with the arrival of new investments from international or national companies since today, having the Research and Development Centers, are approximately 20 or 30 aerospace companies in the entity,” ended Martinez Vilchis.
Indumet is the first Mexican company supplying direct parts for aircrafts of Bombardier; they work for Safran and Spanish companies. Their products range from aircraft turbines, are Tier 2 of Boeing and new projects are being developed.
A report from ProMexico indicates that the Mexican aerospace sector is integrated by companies dedicated to the manufacture, maintenance / repair / overhaul –MRO – engineering, design and other services such as airlines, specialized testing laboratories and training centers, among others, of military and commercial aircrafts.
In a first view, the aerospace Industry has many points in common with the automotive sector: both are based in an assembly chain of pieces that result in a vehicle (terrestrial or aerial,) with the extra that many of these pieces are of high tonnage or oversized.