Effective Supply Chains for the Adoption of Composite Materials in the Aerospace Industry

Javadian, Vajihe (2012) Effective Supply Chains for the Adoption of Composite Materials in the Aerospace Industry. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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In an atmosphere of dramatic increase in the application of composite materials in aerostructures to benefit from features offered by them, there is a significant need for designing the supply chain of these materials in order to keep them safe from critical quality issues. Aircraft manufacturers have radically shifted the focus of technology from aluminium to composite materials in the manufacture of aerostructures in a big scale. Two practical examples are Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 programs by having 50% and 25% composite materials, respectively. These recent programs were not quite successful in terms of the quality of their aircrafts’ composite components. The main focus of this research is in the area of aerospace composite sector in order to design an effective supply chain for these materials. Such a study is important in order to provide a supply chain framework and guideline for those companies which are approaching these materials in a larger scale (more than 50%) in their aircrafts in the near future. The research approach adopted in this dissertation includes the analysis of two case studies (the 787 and A380 Programs). The analysis is based on qualitative evaluation in reference to some information gained from press reports and the specialist practitioner press related to aerospace in addition to some data obtained by reviewing literature section. The findings from this research provide evidence of signs of composite suppliers inefficiencies. Supply chain design and management practices are also considered not to be fully met in both cases. The main conclusions drawn from this study are that early composite suppliers involvement, the presence of system integrator, outsourcing considerations, suppliers selection, the reduction of suppliers base, and modular system are important considerations in the design of composite materials supply chain. Furthermore, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) requires considering its internal capacity seriously before commencing to do any outsourcing or internal operation. In regard to different stages of composite part life cycle, the OEM needs to decide on the needs for outsourcing in accordance with volume of production, internal capacity capabilities, and long term usage of these materials.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 05 Apr 2013 13:09
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2016 20:49
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/25667

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