Big Developments for Mexican Aerospace Manufacturing
July 05, 2016
Nearshoring production is taking off in Mexico and the sky isn't even the limit. Aerospace manufacturing is one field where innovation continuously leads the charge. Here are 3 ways in which Mexican productions plants have taken the lead in innovative manufacturing.
Nearshore Aerospace Manufacturing
U.S aerospace companies have been nearshoring to Mexico since 1970. In fact, according to Aviation Week, the first two companies to open production facilities in Mexico were Westinghouse and Honeywell. Since then, Mexican aerospace manufacturing has exploded due in part to NAFTA and other favorable trade agreements that increase supplies and investments towards infrastructure that promotes new industries.
At the beginning of 2016, there were 270 aerospace companies in Mexico. Of them, 80 percent focused on manufacturing, 10 percent performed repairs, and the remaining 10 percent developed new ideas. Production plants for these aerospace companies continue to use the latest technology. From 3D printing and mobile data collection, to the design of aerospace materials that are both strong and light, innovation is present in all aspects of aerospace manufacturing in Mexico. With the integration of these technologies, sensitive equipment can match specifications to the smallest degree, thus producing high quality products that produce no waste during their creation.
New markets for aerospace products provide opportunities for production expansion. For example, consumers have shown interest in unmanned aircrafts. How does Mexico respond to this demand? They invested in schools that specialize in drone innovation. This is especially important as The FAA just announced new rules for U.S. drone deployment, according to USA Today.
Innovations encourage the most advanced companies to profit from offshoring advantages while allowing the Mexican government to strengthen their own aerospace needs. IHS Jane's 360 reported Mexico's military plans to build its own defense planes by 2018.
"Innovations encourage the Mexican government to strengthen their own aerospace needs."
Mexico hasn't constructed its own air force vehicles since before World War II, but it did build a few in the early 20th century. Mexico's Secretariat of Defence wants to get back into the game with a couple of very specific projects. The goal is to build a twin-seat fixed-wing aircraft along with experimental training crafts. With the success of local manufacturing - including military projects for other governments - The Secretariat of Defence has great expectations for these new homemade air force vehicles.
The Future of Flight
Aviation Week said the Mexican Federation of Aerospace Industries had goals of its own. The organization wants to see Mexico climb from the 15th global supplier of aerospace industries - the title it currently holds - to ranking in the top 10 by 2020. In 2016, the country exported $4.5 billion worth of products and employed 34,000 workers. Those numbers are expected to almost triple in the next four years.
The Mexican government hopes to see more countries move aerospace manufacturing and innovation to its territories. One exciting prospect in the near future may be a demand for vehicles that reach for the stars. The Wire detailed how the Prime Minister of India visited Mexico to discuss many possible benefits of a foreign partnership - including contributions to India's space program.
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