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About this book

This book reports a comprehensive study on the Industry 4.0 technologies focused on the aerospace sector, presenting a blueprint of the sector and the background of the key technologies. The author describes the adoption of some of these technologies by some of the major aerospace companies and organizations.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
In the last century, the aerospace sector has experienced substantial growth. Knowledge and the arrival of new technologies have been pivotal elements of this progress. However, the sector still has challenges to face in terms of demand, innovation, regulatory frameworks and sustainability. This situation imposes on businesses the need for continuous evaluation of their competitive position in the market. At the present time, Industry 4.0 is a crucial consideration for high-tech companies wishing to retain their market share in a dynamic economy and a society advancing towards digitalization.
Diego Carou

Chapter 2. The Aerospace Sector

Abstract
The aerospace sector is built around the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. The sector’s core activity is the manufacture of a wide range of aircraft and spacecraft. Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and other similar companies, together with space agencies such as the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), are important reference sources through which to understand the current nature of aerospace. While manufacturing is the core activity of the sector, the activities required to support such manufacture are complex, for example, the construction of large supply chains, launching extensive R&D programmes involving multiple partners, and so on. The present chapter aims at providing a brief introduction to aerospace, its organization and main activities performed.
Diego Carou

Chapter 3. Aerospace Transformation through Industry 4.0 Technologies

Abstract
Industry 4.0 is a recent concept comprising several enabling technologies with the potential to bring about a deep transformation in industrial operations. The concept and what these enabling technologies are about are being widely discussed in the literature. For the purposes of this book, additive manufacturing, autonomous and collaborative robots, big data and artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things, augmented and virtual reality and simulation, the digital twin, were selected to be studied. Thus, the chapter aims at presenting these technologies and bringing to the reader’s attention some noteworthy examples taken from both academia and industry.
Diego Carou

Chapter 4. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Abstract
The COVID-19 crisis started at the end of 2019, and within a few months, was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease has seriously affected the world economy, and strong actions have been taken to face the crisis; these have included lockdowns and the closing of borders by most countries. These measures have produced a strong economic crisis affecting most economic activity. Among them, aerospace is suffering the effects of the pandemic, experiencing especially unprecedented uncertainty regarding the future of commercial aviation. This situation can play an important role in the future deployment of Industry 4.0 by the sector.
Diego Carou

Chapter 5. Concluding Remarks and Conclusions

Abstract
Aerospace has already started on the road towards digitalization. Industry 4.0 enabling technologies are at the core of the digital transformation. Many examples of the use of these technologies, from additive manufacturing to digital twins, have been acknowledged. Academia is making considerable efforts to carry out research on these topics, as this book has shown. Leading companies such as Airbus, Boeing, or Lockheed Martin are embracing Industry 4.0, using it as a reference for their supply chains. Finally, several examples have been also identified in space exploration by major space agencies such as the ESA and NASA.
Diego Carou
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