Aerostructures tooling market to fall after boom

By 2020, experts predict a sharp decline in the automated tooling equipment market for aerostructures, according to a new Roland Berger study. Demand will shift toward new markets such as China and Russia, where inexpensive turnkey solutions are in demand.

Major civil aviation programs such as the Airbus A350 XWB and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as well as investments in the military segment such as the Lockheed Martin F-35, have pushed the automated tooling equipment market for aerostructures to a record high in recent years. The global market was worth some USD 1.1 billion in 2010 – and is predicted to reach USD 1.4 billion in 2012. This is equivalent to growth of 83% since 2006.

"The market for automated aerostructures tooling equipment has just reached a record high. But appearances can be deceptive, as the long-term prospects are less rosy," warns Manfred Hader, Partner at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. "Manufacturers therefore need to craft new strategies in order to survive in the market long term."

In the medium-term prospects are gloomy: from 2015, experts at Roland Berger predict a negative trend. Although new programs such as the COMAC C919 in China and Irkut MS-21 in Russia will cushion the downturn somewhat, by 2020 the global market will have fallen by over 70% due to a lack of follow-up programs. This will reduce total volumes to around USD 400 million.

Suppliers to the aviation industry will have to seek growth opportunities in new markets – especially China, India and Russia. "Overall, the civil and military aviation sectors around the world are becoming more important – particularly in Asia and Russia," explains Michael Sindram, Project Manager at Roland Berger.

In the next few years, manufacturers must also get ready to meet the growing demand for services. This segment has tended to be neglected in the past. In 2010, the industry generated just USD 140 million from the sale of services, only 13% of the total market.

By contrast, new business in final assembly reached a volume of USD 400 million, modular assembly some USD 300 million and sub-modular assembly USD 270 million. "No major new aircraft-building projects are planned for the near future, while the currently booming demand will lead to a short-term build-up of production capacity for existing models," explains Hader. "A decline in new business is therefore inevitable. So it is all the more important for the industry to move toward providing services."

FLUG REVUE 05/2018


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