In working with our current clients, we’ve learned much about the aerospace and defense industry.

We see four significant trends in Aviation Manufacturing:

Our article on manufacturing trends mentions data analytics. This is the first step towards the development and adoption of AI-enabled systems. As you may already know, the minimum viable product is a key concept in software development. By contrast, in artificial intelligence, the data comes first. As aviation manufacturers collect more and more useable (i.e., clean) data they will be able to develop models to help optimize various processes including forecasting, manufacturing, and scheduling.

Second, we see artificial intelligence being used in supply chain optimization. For example, one of my contacts, Jana Eggers, CEO of Nara Logics, described an AI-enable vendor selection methodology. While this is a fairly narrow application (i.e., vendor selection given an item’s specifications), Nara Logics’ matching platform can be leveraged in other areas (e.g., aviation product-market fit).

In addition, we see an interesting juxtaposition of design thinking and artificial intelligence. Another of my contacts, Chris Butler, Chief Product Architect at IPSoft, promotes design thinking in the development of human-centric systems. This suggests that the design of an AI-enabled system takes into account human interaction, sometimes referred to as “human-in-the-loop” (HITL). This concept applies within aviation manufacturing organizations as well as in the aircraft they produce.

Finally, there has been progress to incorporate Internet of Things (IoT) capability onboard aircraft. In recent years, aircraft IoT functionality seemed to be focused on predictive maintenance (i.e., predicting when maintenance is needed before it actually is) as this article illustrates.

We expect this trend will continue, however, for narrowly-defined use cases (e.g., pilot performance, real-time avionics monitoring).

For more information about manufacturing trends or how SSG can help your organization, please contact us at (310) 539-4645 or via our website.