Three technologies and trends to watch at Paris Air Show 2015

June 9, 2015
Executives with Accenture’s aerospace and defense industry practice have identified three stories to watch during the Paris Air Show that will begin June 15th. They are: growth in digital technologies, such as wearables and 3D printing; uptick in defense market; and new competition for engineering talent.

By John Schmidt

Executives with Accenture’s aerospace and defense industry practice have identified three stories to watch during the Paris Air Show that will begin June 15th. The stories are:

  • Growth in digital technologies such as wearables and 3D printing;
  • Uptick in defense market; and
  • New competition for engineering talent.

Each of these stories has a common thread: the industry’s growing use of digital capabilities and technologies. At this year’s show, one of the main stories will be how and why digital is the industry’s key strategic priority.

Story One: Growth in digital technologies

Watch for news about how companies are leveraging analytics, the Industrial Internet of Things, mobile and cloud – all powered by digital technologies -- to serve customers faster, more economically, and more reliably.

These companies are investing in digital capabilities to reduce costs, improve efficiency, and fine-tune product lifecycle management. This will lead to enhanced customer relationship management, revenue growth, and better business partner relationships.

Digital wearables

One of the best examples of the show’s digital story will be the growing use of wearable technologies. These powerful and portable digital tools improve industrial processes such as manufacturing and supply chain.

Smart glasses image courtesy Shutterstock.

A demonstration of how industrial-grade, Internet-connected smart glasses can enhance manufacturing, operations, supply chain and maintenance will take place at the Accenture Chalet #33 on June 16th and 17th. It will reveal how these hands-free smart glasses enhance real-world business applications using barcode scanning, augmented reality, and 3D viewing.

Wearing the smart glasses, for example, a technician on an airplane manufacturing floor can gain access instantly to information, improve data collection, attain quality assurance and expedite collaboration to improve workflows. This makes it possible for a company to improve workforce productivity, reduce errors, eliminate travel time, and heighten safety for employees.

Digital 3D printing

An emerging market, 3D printing enables airplane parts to be made in various locations. This simplifies supply chains and creates more economical warehousing of airplane parts. Using this customizable technology, manufacturers can be more innovative in designing products. Expect there to be evidence of how the technology requirements are becoming more refined and better understood.

Read more news on 3D printing and additive manufacturing for aerospace applications by clicking here.

Story Two: Uptick in defense

The commercial aerospace market has dominated headlines at major air shows for the past several years. This year will be slightly different. Look for signs of an uptick in the global defense market driven by growth in the Asia/Pacific and Middle Eastern regions.

To grow faster, defense companies involved in supply chain manufacturing need to meet growing product and service demand. Watch for stories about new and faster ways to manufacture products leveraging innovative product lifecycle management capabilities.

Story Three: New competition for engineering talent

Expect a story to unfold about the growing number of aerospace engineers that have more choices about where to work. Now more than ever, they can decide to work for a small start-up drone manufacturer, for instance, rather than a traditional large airplane producer. Traditional aerospace and defense manufacturers increasingly are having to compete to hire those engineers with manufacturers of new types of systems and technologies.

Beyond engineers, attracting and hiring software developers, cybersecurity experts, and data scientists will be another story to watch. Look for stories about new types of corporate recruitment programs that are focused on persuading these skilled workers to work for their companies rather than explore other opportunities. Expect to hear about why and how these skilled workers – especially those with the most valuable digital knowledge and expertise -- are wielding more power allowing them to choose which companies they prefer to work for.

Accenture executives will be available for demonstrations and meetings in Chalet #33 on June 16th and 17th.

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About the Author
John Schmidt is a managing director for the North American practice of Accenture’s Aerospace and Defense industry. He can be reached at [email protected].

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