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2014 Industry Forecast: Aerospace

The SCVBJ asked local experts to share business forecasts for the coming year

Posted: December 21, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 21, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

Bill Barritt, Chief Financial Officer

Aerospace Dynamics International

Supplier of large complex machined parts and assemblies for the aerospace industry. ADI is a provider of major structural components on virtually every commercial and military aircraft program.


1. What kind of growth do you foresee in 2014 for your industry?

It will be growing rapidly over the next five years, about 15 to 20 percent in commercial aircraft. Forecasters are saying the growth will be more like 5 to 6 percent but the way it’s affecting us I think it will be higher. There are a large number of planes retiring over the next few years. The military may be winding down or just getting more lean, but commercial business is picking up.

2. What opportunities are ahead?

There are lots opportunities with a lot of new technology and so we’ll enter new paradigm shifts. Additive machining (3D printing) is on the horizon and has the possibility to further enhance manufacturing.

3. What challenges is your industry facing?

Budget cuts for those in military end of the industry. We’re 90 percent commercial so we’ll be okay, but there’s a lot of uncertainty for some companies with programs that aren’t considered key programs. Manufacturing for Special Forces will be good; there’s a pretty large investment in that area of our military.

4. What kind of support does your industry need?

We need reduced regulation – it’s bothersome and tedious and doesn’t do anything but add to our overhead costs. Regulation at the state and federal level is at the highest (level) it’s even been and there’s no end in sight – it looks like it’s only accelerating. It’s raises our costs to the point where it’s difficult to compete in a global environment.

5. What plans does your company have for 2014?

To grow our business by continuing to make lean changes in our operation, continue to put emphasis on workforce on training and development through the Center for Applied Competitive Technology, and to complete our seventh building.

The new building is going very well and is slated to open at the end of June. We’re putting in eight of the country’s largest vertical cutting machines at about $5 million each, along with horizontal boring machines. We’re making a major investment but it’s great for the community and will mean adding more jobs for two different shifts.

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