Finding the right aerospace components manufacturer is crucial for successful product development and production in any industry. However, this is especially critical in the aerospace industry.
A healthy business relationship with your parts manufacturer can improve communications, shorten production times, reduce costs, and result in higher quality products. In an industry like aerospace with heavy regulation and significant bureaucratic challenges, good parts manufacturers can further magnify these benefits throughout the working relationship. However, to reap these benefits, it is vital to choose a manufacturing company with significant experience producing aerospace applications components. Some companies may offer state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques to produce quality components but do not have enough experience with aerospace to guide their clients through the prototyping, testing, and large-scale production process smoothly.
Certified, specialized aerospace manufacturers intimately understand the regulatory challenges, increased lead times, and testing nuances required to get components into ASD (Aircraft, Space, and Defense) applications. These are manufacturing barriers that are unique to the aerospace industry, so it is extremely important to choose a component manufacturer that understands these challenges.
While manufacturing for the aerospace industry is technically private work, the process is akin to working on government contracts due to the extensive regulatory considerations. The extent of these regulations often surprises companies. Even companies that have already been making parts commercially and are now producing for the aerospace industry. The myriad of additional requirements creates extra work that companies need help tracking and managing. An experienced aerospace manufacturer can help their clients navigate these regulatory requirements by utilizing proven workflows to ensure nothing is overlooked and progress is made as efficiently as possible.
The inescapable byproduct of significant regulatory requirements is long project lead times. Even standard aerospace components have longer lead times than components for other industries. Extensive testing is required, and numerous items must be signed off on at various levels of bureaucracy throughout the process. This lead time lag is exacerbated when components are complex or new to the industry. Using the best manufacturer ensures that lines of communication will be open, and the manufacturer will not needlessly duplicate work during an already lengthy manufacturing timeline. Finding a component manufacturer that understands aerospace requirements and utilizes a single point of contact approach, can go a long way in ensuring that the project benchmarks are not missed. The result is that products are typically delivered to market faster with fewer headaches along the way.
Aerospace components are not approved strictly based on meeting the correct quality and precision standards. Manufacturers must conduct appropriate testing on the parts, and then the findings must be presented in the correct formats to be signed off on by individual aerospace companies and airlines. Without the right metrology equipment, this testing cannot be effectively conducted. Manufacturers that do not specialize in aerospace may not own the equipment needed to do extensive testing, opting instead to outsource this work as required. However, top aerospace manufacturers like Thin Metal Parts can do testing in-house to provide the necessary data in the correct format to obtain approval more quickly than those that outsource their metrology requirements.
Thin Metal Parts is an industry leader in a wide range of metal fabrication techniques, including mylar imaging, custom laser cutting, electroforming, and chemical etching for the aerospace industry. At Thin Metal Parts, we pride ourselves on custom manufacturing and superior customer service. Clients working with Thin Metal Parts can expect unmatched responsiveness, quick turnaround times, cost-effective options, with highly flexible and easily customizable manufacturing across prototypes, small runs, and large volume production.
For more information on Thin Metal Parts or our work with the aerospace industry, contact us.