BLOG – Maintaining quality as aerospace looks to take off again
In 2020 the aerospace industry directly employed more than 116,000 people in the UK, a significant number. Yet despite some forecasters predicting that the aerospace sector will recover rapidly when Covid-rates are under control internationally, there are many manufacturing businesses that are still showing a degree of caution and reluctance to staffing up in anticipation of the upturn.
Of equal importance is the realisation that a rapid ramp-up in orders and output needs to have a corresponding investment in quality management processes to ensure that a swift production increase doesn’t leave quality behind.
With a focused eye on the future, at G&P, we have kept as many people as possible employed throughout the pandemic to help manage industry’s return to normality. This means the workforce remains robust while offering the flexibility aerospace engineering customers require.
To facilitate this, we provided our employees with the opportunity to work in new sectors that were less impacted by the pandemic. This ensured workforce availability with the added benefit of enhancing skills further through exposure to new and different sectors.
In order to remain competitive during the anticipated period of recovery, the aerospace industry needs to remain as efficient as possible, while delivering on time and without any reduction in quality standards.
This challenge can be addressed either in-house or with the close support of quality management providers like G&P, particularly where our workforce has remained stable through tactical, temporary redistribution. Through this method, aerospace companies can avoid the financial and reputational costs associated with non-conformance and concentrate on building long-lasting and flexible customer relationships.
Environmental opportunities and considerations
As in the wider world and other manufacturing industries, sustainability is also increasingly taking centre stage in the aerospace sector, bringing new challenges and opportunities together with corresponding considerations. These include hybrid power plants, sustainable aviation fuels and substantial research into electric-powered flight.
At G&P, we have considerable experience of placing environmental and sustainability considerations at the centre of quality control programmes. Indeed, we have received a number of prestigious awards which directly recognise our environmental credentials and efforts. We are developing several initiatives that will help us deliver even better support and advice to our manufacturing partners.
Flight path ahead
G&P works with aerospace manufacturing businesses to help them achieve the highest quality standards most efficiently. Our personnel, methods and systems, including our award-winning Quality Excellence Model and proprietary IT system, QTrak, are seamlessly integrated into the operations of manufacturers’ and suppliers’ facilities worldwide.
What’s more, we continue to develop our aerospace customer base and expand the quality management services available which include supply chain quality, technical and inspection. In addition, we support component/build quality through the deployment of quality inspectors, technicians and engineers.
This means that G&P can enter an ambitious growth phase while remaining focused on investing in our people, our business, and processes to best serve our customers around the world.
For the aerospace industry, this means that it has ready access to an established quality management solutions provider with the breadth of experience and services required, backed up by a flexible and available workforce to deliver to the highest standards. Irrespective of the speed of recovery, here at G&P, we are ready and able to provide support.
Aerospace, Defence & Industrials Director