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On-time delivery of high-quality parts from suppliers is a major concern for aerospace companies because they stand to lose huge sums of money every day production is halted for lack of parts.

This has always been a vital issue, but it has taken on even greater importance in recent years as aerospace OEMs lean more heavily on suppliers to meet challenging growth targets. Airbus, for example, predicts global air traffic will grow by 4.5 percent annually, with some 33,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft required over the next 20 years.1 Estimates from Boeing are similar.2

In response, aerospace OEMs are pruning the weakest companies in their supply chains and are relying more heavily on the most capable ones. In turn, the remaining suppliers are now facing unprecedented demands to meet tight delivery schedules even as quality, production, and economic requirements are also becoming increasingly stringent.

From the viewpoint of a parts supplier, satisfying the demands of aerospace customers has never been more difficult. This paper will explore some of the ways it can be accomplished.

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