Accelerating Aerospace organizational innovation, speed and resilience with Digital Technologies

David Sweetman: SAP Aerospace and Defense Global Solution Marketing

Aerospace organizations are pushing new boundaries every day. Their products, research and technologies are changing the way the world works. We see it every day in the way humanity relies on communication, global positioning, and special analytics to enable smart cities, smart cars, smart factories. It is their ability to systematically innovate, push boundaries and challenge norms that propels Aerospace every day, it is what excites growing countries and high value entrepreneurs to invest.

The impact of space technology on other industries is wide and vast and the innovation ripple of research has spurred many products from Teflon, CAT scans and many more from NASA innovations alone. The Global Satellite Communication Market size was valued at USD 65 B in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 132 B by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 9% . Its impact on the global economy spans industries such pharmaceuticals, beauty and care products, semi-conductors and food and nutrients. In fact, companies are working with aerospace technologies to accelerate innovation and provide new differentiation. (Read: McKinsey’s The Potential of microgravity: How companies across sectors can venture into space)

So how are aerospace companies researching, developing, managing design, planning, production, logistics and operations?  They are adopting new digital thread technologies, commercializing data more than ever before. They are focused on cybersecurity and sustainability and delivering on the design cycle faster than ever.

The SAP Innovation Awards – and nominee Kawasaki Heavy Industries

The SAP Innovation Awards aim to honor and celebrate the achievements of forward-thinking companies that have harnessed the power of SAP technology to become an intelligent enterprise, thrive in new business realities, and create positive economic, environmental, and social impact to help the world run better.

Last year we celebrated a record number of submissions. Among them were Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI) They developed a “Smart-K” Digital Innovation of KAIZEN for Aerospace Manufacturing.

Manufacturing of aerospace and defense systems can be a labor-intensive industry. It is crucial to link engineering, which must maintain tight control of configuration and change, to the shop floor, with the need for continuous improvement daily.

KHI is using SAP S4/HANA Manufacturing for production engineering and operation to establish a consistent digital link between production engineering and production execution and to support frequent changes and change management control. The accumulated data is helping to streamline business processes and improve productivity.

KHI created a new vertically integrated digital platform for production engineering and manufacturing, making it easy to balance strict change management with frequent improvements, which they called KAIZEN, the Japanese word for continuous improvement. This approach collects digital data, reduces flow time and leads to becoming a more data-driven business.

Hiroyoshi Shimokawa, Managing Executive Officer President Aerospace Systems Company noted, “The competitive advantage of our production process is its sustainable “KAIZEN”. We are confident that our “Smart-K” digital innovation of KAIZEN, which includes configuration and change management-crucial in aircraft manufacturing-will be more strictly controlled and will allow KHI to advance and sustain KAIZEN more effectively.”

The innovation had some impressive results.  Over 1 Billion manual activities of 4000 workers were integrated. There was a 20% increase in change management productivity and a 15% reduction in flow time by utilizing actual data and insights from workers.

Share Your Innovation Story

This year’s The 2023 SAP Innovation Awards aim to honor and celebrate the achievements of forward-thinking companies that have harnessed the power of SAP technology to become an intelligent enterprise, thrive in new business realities, and create positive economic, environmental, and social impact to help the world run better.

SAP is thrilled to showcase these inspirational customer and partner stories that involve using SAP solutions and technology to differentiate themselves, achieve tremendous results, and adapt to dynamic customer needs.

More information on the award timeline and list of prizes is available here. For details on the judging criteria and category definitions, visit the SAP Innovation Awards website. The submission period is open now and all entries are due by February 1, 2023. Get started today and join the conversation online using the hashtag #SAPInnovation.

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