DTi reported a few weeks ago on the commercial aerospace market rebound. DTi is seeing strong grommet edging sales from aerospace and in particular seating and interior clients like Collins, Thompson, Safran, TSI, Avic, Acro, and others.
However, it is increasingly evident that this recovery is fighting some headwinds. The headwinds come from 3 sources: staffing, supply chain issues, and energy costs.
It’s almost a perfect storm. We are close to full employment. The “Great Resignation” continues. Covid absences are proving to be a bit of a wildcard as they happen unexpectedly and may involve quarantines of fellow staff members. Aerospace is not alone, economy-wide companies are having trouble finding enough staff. Commercial aerospace needs a lot of support staff on the ground to meet the growing demand. Boarding is hard without boarding staff. However, the same is true for pilots and technical support crews. According to FlightAware US airlines canceled over 2500 flights over the busy Memorial Day holiday. Some of that was due to staffing. And let's not forget that pay rates are rising as well.
Passenger travel is recovering to pre-Covid levels. This data is driving optimism and growing both orders and aircraft deliveries which in turn are boosting materials, systems, and components across the whole industry. On the very top level, Boeing and Airbus have so far delivered 237 aircraft, compared to 202 in 2021. However, this top-level obscures the operational reality. Boeing is having a hard time delivering 737 Max jets and the FAA is blocking deliveries of 787 Dreamliners. There are simply not enough planes to meet the burgeoning demand. Many other companies up the supply chain are happy to see demand but are having to throttle orders as their own supply chain is still recovering.
Prices are rising. Energy costs are a key driver. Whatever the cause the fear is that ticket price inflation might dampen the willingness to travel. Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed fares continuing to climb in May after a record surge in April. So far airlines say there has been no measurable effect on bookings. There is a certain logic to this. Covid and its restrictions made travel complicated and dangerous for over 2 years -in the interim consumers turned to a consumer goods buying spree and now that it seems safer they are eager to travel. They have the money.
Long-Term Impact on Aerospace
All these factors influence cost and it’s debatable if this higher cost basis is here to stay. Energy may settle back down and lower prices but as OEMs modify their supply chain to remove uncertainty and risk of shocks like Covid, it can mean we’ll see more suppliers with lower order volumes, and OEMs holding higher inventory. All mixed in with higher salary costs. It feels like some of these costs will be with us for the foreseeable future.
DTi believes the increased costs will stimulate a search for reducing system costs. This fits Spring-Fast because it offers a better, lower-cost alternative. It minimizes the time needed for installation which creates higher efficiency in manufacturing and yet still provides best-in-class performance.
Spring-Fast Grommet Edging Benefits
1. Cost Savings of 49%. Spring-Fast grommet edging applies with just finger pressure -no adhesive. This yields at least a 49% installed cost-saving. Nylon grommets in contrast have to be applied with adhesive to ensure they stay on the edge. This results in a 12-hour multi-step process that includes curing. It’s costly and failure-prone due to the likelihood of dis-bonding.
2. Better productivity/staff utilization. Spring-Fast’s finger pressure installation takes a fraction of the time and resources. It frees up your techs to complete other tasks.
Our conversations at the recent AIX show in Hamburg confirmed the challenges facing aerospace but there is optimism that the tide is turning and there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Meanwhile Spring-Fast continues to do well and sales are growing desire these headwinds – this is driven by the benefits that Spring-Fast offers to any OEM using nylon grommets.
If in your manufacturing process, you use adhesive-bonded nylon grommets -technology from the 1950's – consider switching to Spring-Fast grommet edging.
Check out the product for yourself: Request free samples here
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