Thus far, the aerospace industry has floundered in the uptake of automation compared to the automotive and high volume electronics manufacturing industries. This may partially be attributed to the lifecycle of many aerospace products whose components typically begin production at low to medium volumes. This environment often limits the adoption of automation, as well as proving to be an uncertain environment in which to base large capital investments. Following increases in demand, low volume processes are often found unsuitable for higher volume production, with potential re-design activities prevented by costly product qualification processes. Thus, manufacturers are forced to enable low volume processes to cope with high volume production, without product redesign for automated manufacturing, whilst remaining commercially competitive. This paper aims to investigate a world leading aerospace electronics company, to recommend an implementation framework for automation in the reduction of build cost and increase in production volume devoid of product redesign activities.
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