Did you know that you can build an entire aircraft with parts sourced within a 30 mile radius of Montreal? While Canada may be better known for Tim Horton’s and Justin Bieber, our aerospace sector is the 5th largest in the world by revenue and 3rd worldwide for civil aircraft and civil engine production, an impressive feat for a country ranked 11th worldwide in GDP.
Canada’s Aero Industry at a Glance
In 2015, Canada’s aerospace industry generated $27.7B CDN in revenue, with MRO activities contributing 27% and manufacturing 73%. Canada’s aerospace industry employees 76,000, of which 47% are skilled employees. Aerospace manufacturing employees generate 62% more value compared to other Canadian manufacturing industries and earn 29% more annually. Part of the success of Canada’s aerospace industry is commitment to R&D research: on average, R&D investment intensity in aerospace is 5X the national average and productivity growth is 2.5X the national average.
Big players and supply chains
While Bombardier is a household name many Canadians are unaware that we are the home of the world’s largest civil flight simulation supplier, CAE. Canada is also home to one of the world’s largest supplier to turboprop and turboshaft (helicopter) engines, Pratt & Whitney Canada.
Beyond Canada’s airframe manufacturers, some 60% of our exports are supply chain related – meaning we supply critical components such as engines, landing gear, and avionics to larger manufacturers. Canada is home to many smaller companies able to deliver high-tech and high value components necessary to build some of the most advanced aircraft flown today. For example, Stelia Aerospace North America has delivered advanced composite components for the 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787, as well as the A320 family and the JSF program. Canada also has a large landing gear supplier in Héroux-Devtek, who are supplying the complete landing gear systems for the 777 and 777x program. Landing gear are one of the more complex major components on an aircraft, and this contract reflects the skill and value Canadian companies can offer major OEMs. There are over 700 aerospace companies around Canada, and every day they work with the biggest names in the industry supplying critical, high value components.
The Future of Small and Medium Enterprises in Canada’s Aero Industry
Globally the aerospace industry is seeing major changes. Large OEM’s are reducing the number of suppliers they directly deal with, and more risk is being shared farther down the supply chain. Canada’s small and medium sized aerospace enterprises are pushing to provide more competitive and valuable services in this changing industry, to offer both OEM’s and Tier 1 Integrators valuable partnership options. One of the ways SME’s in Canada are adapting is by accepting a greater share of the risk in new programs and improving service. In a 2012 survey, nearly 40% of Canadian Aerospace enterprises reported sharing more risk with their customers, demonstrating Canadian firm’s competitive nature and desire to win business, and 70% reported decreasing lead-times to their customers.
In an increasingly competitive world, Canadian companies are delivering better value and more innovative solutions to their customers. Part of this is devoting more resources to R&D and creating new technologies. To learn more about how Aversan engineers have delivered innovative and competitive solutions click here.
Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in this blog post are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Aversan Inc.