Aerospace Industry Setbacks Lead to Collateral Damage
Over the past year and a half, the aerospace industry has experienced drastic changes in demand, probably in the worst way possible. Demand dropped across the boards. The damage branched out from the most notable sector, being commercial flights. With the loss of passengers, many workers and suppliers, unfortunately, felt the aftershock effects.
At the beginning of 2021, the world was put on pause by the Covid-19 pandemic. No one believed it would last so long and surely did not prepare for the economic halt that ensued. The airborne sickness that ended lives put a wedge between everyone in the public, some taking drastic measures to new extremes and others deemed too reckless for comfort. So, of course, the first casualties would be proximity-based businesses, with obvious culprits like shopping malls, restaurants, clubs, and commercial flights.
A business without customers becomes a cash-hole, which became the cause for many small businesses getting pushed out of the market. Along with these small businesses that were swallowed whole by the pandemic, frightening amounts of workers were laid off or not getting the hours they used to, unless they were a part of an essential business.
This is the same scenario that many would experience in the aerospace industry. Many sectors profiting directly or indirectly from commercial airliners saw significant losses in profits and even their abilities to maintain the number of workers employed pre-pandemic. This would eventually trickle down and go on to land us in our present-day predicament.
Covid-19’s Avalanche Effect
The entrance was monstrous and before we knew it, industries would be buried waiting to be dug out and brushed off. Yet, that resolution would not find them. It has been a drawn-out fight for many established enterprises to stay in business, and the virus would not give up without dishing out significant losses throughout the aerospace industry.
After being laid off or not having enough shifts to work, many skilled laborers would apply their talents to other industries, ones that were more recession-proof. Recession-proof careers may be remote sales/customer service or even logistical work, seeing as how the pandemic kicked off a major increase in online shopping.
However good for those in need of a quick change in income, it would become a great hindrance to the aerospace industry when it would attempt to seek out some form of normality again. With all of the skilled workers employed in different industries, airliners and suppliers alike will be hard-pressed to even keep up with the volume of pre-pandemic demand.
The same careers deemed recession-proof, the ones taking the skilled workers, have actually allowed the economy to continue progressing in a much more remote enviornment. Whether it be remote employment or shopping. In turn, demand has shot up in a way that airliners, shippers and suppliers were not prepared for.
How is High-Demand Pressuring the Aerospace Industry?
As discussed in a more recent blog post by AMI Aero Marine Interior, Inc., “Alarming Global Supply Chain Challenges Leave Aerospace Industry Frantic“, the increase in demand has caught shippers and suppliers alike by surprise. Some parts have had a shortage, decreased capabilities for production, while others simply couldn’t find anyone to transport their products to customers. This hinders the ability for an aircraft meant for logistical purposes to get repaired and assist in the global supply chain disruption.
Though the increase of demand has not only come on the supply side, more passengers have been getting vaccinated and becoming more comfortable traveling the world again, even if that means sitting in close quarters for a flight or two. Though, airliners have actually been short on pilots due to the pandemic shock and regulation implementation.
According to a blog on MSN, “American Airlines Cancels Nearly 300 Flights, Most Due to Pilot Shortages“, recently hundreds of flights were being cancelled due to lack of pilots on staff and even specified that airliners are down thousands of employees compared to pre-pandemic numbers. Of course, this lack of preparation does lower their window of opportunity to capatilize on increasing demand. If airliners do not catch up, consumers might decide to push back travel plans until the market can catch up at a slower pace. No one likes having their flight cancelled.
In such a frantic market, it is important to have those few competent entities ready to do their part in clearing up the aerospace industries current disruption. Whether that is assisting in the global supply chain back-up or even making necessary repairs on airliners idle aircraft fleet. As of now, there are few stepping up to the plate.
Among those on the forefront is AMI Aero Marine Interior, Inc., with a qualified team of professionals AMI has been able to continuously provide exceptional service. With years of experience in the business, AMI was able to maneuver the pandemic in a way that allowed them to safely service their clients. Services offered include:
- Aircraft Interior Refurbishing
- Custom Aircraft Interiors
- Crew and Passenger Seats Repair
- Window Repair
- Aircraft Veneering and Cabinetry
- Upholstery, Fabrication, and Carpet
- Aviational Technical Manpower
With a large amount of airliners fleet grounded, it has been a great opportunity to get needed repairs and refurbishments done with a trusted company like AMI Aero Marine Interior, Inc.. They are also extremely well-versed in NDT practices, to make sure all airliners will be ready to get back in the air as soon as possible. Equipped with high-class equipment for distinct inspections, such as:
- Radiography – This type of inspection uses high-frequency penetrating radiation in the form of X-rays to locate discontinuities in a material, verify the integrity of internal components, and determine the quality of welds.
- Eddy Current – The overall inspection process consists of applying the Eddy Current Test (ET) Method to detect surface or subsurface cracks in the item inspected.
- Phased Array Ultrasonics – Phased array ultrasonics uses the general principles of ultrasonic testing and computer software to apply several UT beams to an article and manipulating them to an LCD screen. Inspecting parts with variable-angle beams maximize detection regardless of the defect orientation while optimizing the signal-to-noise ratio.
- Infrared Thermography – The software used in the cameras is able to read temperatures and displays this parameter in a color format. IRT is used to find flaws such as delamination, voids, impact damage, cracks and water ingress in Thin Material, Honeycomb sections and composite material without removal of paint.
- Magnetic Particle – Magnetic particle examination (MPI) is usable only on materials having ferromagnetic properties, principally low alloy steels, and heat-treatable stainless steels. It is a sensitive non-destructive method for detecting surface and near-surface cracks and discontinuities.
- Ultrasonics – Ultrasonic inspection (UT) utilizes sound waves at frequencies between 2.5 to 20 MHz. UT is used mainly for thickness testing and flaw detection in solid materials that can support sound waves – all metals, plastics, glass, and carbon fiber. finding internal and external flaws and can inspect many different parts/sections of the aircraft structure without disassembly.
- Liquid Penetrant – Liquid penetrant (LPI) testing services are reliable for detecting surface-breaking flaws in just about any solid material with a non-porous surface.
Other notable efforts to keep the aerospace industry helpful to the public during this pandemic occurred last year, when several airliners got the green light to transport freight in their planes. According to an article posted by Freight waves, “FAA clears airlines to remove passenger seats for cargo“, the Federal Aviation Administration actually granted U.S. airplanes permission to remove passenger seat and transport cargo on the floor of their cabins, this consideration would last until July of 2021.
These ambitious airliners decided they would not sit idley by as the market suffered shortages of transportation. Cementing the aerospace industry as an essential business during pandemic level stretches of time.