Airbus chief looks to automation to meet strong jet demand

03 Jun, 2018 12:33 pm

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The new president of Airbus said new digital technology would transform aircraft factories in coming years, enabling higher production and triggering a significant shift in research and development spending towards next-generation manufacturing.

Guillaume Faury, who took over the main planemaking unit of Airbus in February, said an additional production line to be opened soon in Hamburg, Germany, would contain significantly more automation and a higher population of robots than before.

The comments to Reuters at the opening of an airlines summit highlight a shift in the focus of planemaker competition to production efficiencies rather than sales volumes as Airbus and rival Boeing sit on orders equivalent to 8 years of production.

Faury also said in an interview that Airbus was not yet ready to decide on an increase in narrowbody production to 70 or more aircraft a month, and that securing existing production plans was his first priority in the wake of engine shortages.

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