Assembly Blog

The Skies Are Clearing for Aerospace Assembly

October 24, 2013

In April, Airbus began constructing a new, state-of-the-art assembly plant in Mobile, AL. Production at the $600 million facility is set to begin in 2015, with the first aircraft delivery in 2016. At full capacity, the plant is expected to employ 1,000 people and produce up to 50 airplanes in 2018.

For Airbus, the plant can’t open soon enough. The No. 2 planemaker booked 241 orders in July, bringing its order book to a record 5,109 jets. The backlog is equal to about seven years of sustained production.

Not to be outdone, Boeing is sitting on top of a record order backlog of 4,757 aircraft valued at $339 billion. With the Dreamliner program back on track, Boeing hopes to push 787 production beyond 10 aircraft per month and 737 production to 42 month.

Overall, the global aerospace and defense industry is continuing its growth in the wake of the worldwide financial crisis. According to consulting firm AlixPartners, the aerospace and defense industry grew by 6.8 percent in 2012. This was up from 2011’s sales growth of 5.5 percent. Commercial aerospace companies represent the strongest segment of the industry. They are expected to deliver more than 1,300 jets worldwide in 2013—a record for the industry—and new orders continue to roll in.

If aerospace OEMs are doing well, their suppliers are, too:

  • In August, Aveo Engineering, which makes LED lighting for aircraft, announced that it will invest $7.5 million to build a new assembly plant in northeastern Florida. The plant is expected to employ 300 people.
  • In July, Triumph Aerospace Systems announced that will spend more than $2 million to expand its assembly plant in Wichita, KS, creating 100 new jobs
  • In June, GE Aviation broke ground for a new factory in Asheville, NC, to make components for jet engines. The factory could employ more than 340 people within five years.
  • In June, GKN Aerospace opened a new 24,000-square-foot assembly plant in Phoenix to make nacelles for jet engines.

What do you think? Will the aerospace industry continue to soar? Or is there turbulence ahead? What technologies will make a difference in the design and production of aerospace assemblies? Share your thoughts.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Behind the Scenes at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant

People are the heart and soul of the 2012 Assembly Plant of the Year. This slideshow shows some of the men and women who build three different types of electrified vehicles alongside traditional gas-powered cars on the auto industry’s most flexible assembly line—Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI. Photos courtesy Ford Motor Co.


 Live from The ASSEMBLY Show, Bob Wood, president of ECI Spinnomatic, talks about his company’s newest product: a fully automated riveting cell equipped with a rotary indexing table, a six-axis robot, an orbital forming unit, and laser sensors. 

More Podcasts

Assembly Magazine

assembly may

2015 May

The 2015 May Assembly includes our cover story on Lean Lifts Assembly at Toyota plus much more. Check it out today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

The Internet of Things

Will the Internet of Things affect your manufacturing operation?
View Results Poll Archive


Welding: Principles & Practices

This text introduces students to a solid background in the basic principles and practices of welding.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


facebook_40px twitter_40px  youtube_40pxlinkedin_40pxgoogle plus  

Assembly Showrooms

ASSEMBLY Showrooms