Boeing, one of the largest players in the aerospace industry, looks to make changes to their traditional manufacturing methods. The company plans to begin using 3D printing technology to assist in the building of satellites.
This decision comes as the company is looking for ways to produce more satellites for cheaper and reduce the number of workers needed to produce the satellites. Although Boeing essentially controlled the aerospace market at one point in time, the industry is quickly evolving.
SpaceX, is one company that has led to the changing industry. SpaceX greatly reduced the cost of building rockets. Also, they are working on reusable rockets for multiple launches. In order to stay competitive, Boeing must adapt to the new companies in the industry, such as SpaceX.
Paul Rusnock, leader of Boeing’s satellite business, recently highlighted some features of the new production roadmap. He cited simplifying the overall architecture and design to speed up production as a major factor in this decision. Also, simple designs means easier assembly and that will result in fewer costly production glitches.
3D printing is just one of the new manufacturing processes Boeing plans to implement. And, it is one of the new technologies the company has already began utilizing in a of their manufacturing plants.
However, change has not been rapid; the company is starting small to test the technologies before rolling it out to production of all their products. Although, Mr. Rusnock did note that changes could speed up if the company starts winning bids in the next few months.
Many people are afraid of advancing technology and losing jobs. Just as those people expected, the new technologies may take a toll on the number of employees at Boeing. Luckily, Boeing officials expect the increase in satellite orders will allow for those employees to retain jobs with the company.
More companies are turning towards 3D printing as they are taking notice of the many benefits of 3D printing technology. In order to stay competitive, companies will continue to adapt this technology, which will allow this industry to evolve and grow. Boeing is a great example of an old company utilizing the new technology.
News via: WSJ
Photo Credits: Boeing