JA­PAN TO EN­HANCE CA­PA­BIL­I­TIES OF MAN­U­FAC­TUR­ING AIR­CRAFT

SP's Airbuz - - Newsbrief -

The Govern­ment of Ja­pan is pro­mot­ing tech­no­log­i­cal co­op­er­a­tion be­tween lo­cal

in­dus­try and Boe­ing in air­craft elec­tri­fi­ca­tion and high-rate com­pos­ites man­u­fac­tur­ing with the aim of ex­pand­ing the coun­try’s tra­di­tion­ally limited roles in air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ing. Ja­panese in­dus­try has for decades,

had a strong pres­ence in mak­ing air­craft struc­tures and en­gine parts, noted Hiroyuki Hatada, the Di­rec­tor of the Min­istry’s Aero­space and De­fence In­dus­try Divi­sion. But it has been largely un­able to chal­lenge for­eign mak­ers of on­board sys­tems, com­pa­nies that have en­trenched po­si­tions and en­joy the low costs of high vol­umes.

Now prospec­tive changes in air­craft tech­nol­ogy are pre­sent­ing Ja­pan with op­por­tu­ni­ties to foray into ar­eas of the in­dus­try where ev­ery­one is go­ing back to square one or close to it. If a new tech­nol­ogy largely dis­places an old one and prompts ma­jor changes in man­u­fac­tur­ing or sys­tem de­sign, in­cum­bent man­u­fac­tur­ers lose many of their ad­van­tages.Ap­pli­ca­tion of new elec­tric tech­nol­ogy to air­craft is seen as one such op­por­tu­nity. It was listed along­side high-rate, low-cost com­pos­ites man­u­fac­tur­ing and au­to­ma­tion in the agree­ment that the Min­istry signed with Boe­ing in Jan­uary this year. Also close is the use of new tech­niques for mak­ing com­pos­ites more quickly and more cheaply as low costs can fol­low from high pro­duc­tion rates. A third area of tech­nol­ogy in the agree­ment with Boe­ing is greater au­to­ma­tion in air­craft man­u­fac­tur­ing, with ob­vi­ous value to in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion rates.

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