Metal in its various types and forms is a basic product for the aerospace and defense industries in the form of a raw material, an intermediate product or a more or less elaborated sub-assembly. Within this demand, machining processes in the form of production parts with different degrees of complexity, sheet metal bending, welding or different surface treatments, if not a combination of these processes, are of great relevance. In value and integrated technology, they outperform commodities or raw materials and can become an important part of a defense program.
To cite only the land vehicle segment, the so-called Pareto law is usually fulfilled, according to which between 70 and 80 percent of the costs of a program are assumed by 20% of the suppliers and vice versa, since the remaining 20 percent of the costs are accounted for by 65 up to 70 percent of suppliers.
The Spanish precision machining sector has grown significantly in recent years, despite the economic crisis that has hit our country to varying degrees since 2008 and worsened since last year due to the effects of COVID-19. The export vocation and obligation to incorporate larger technological content in the form of engineering has resulted in sales growth and has undertaken to develop its own products to offset the lower economic margin achieved as a supplier of machined parts to other companies.
This explains that already in the machining sector, companies currently in civilian sectors such as automotive, renewable energy, agricultural machinery or railroad are now considering getting into the defense and aerospace sectors by offering their skills.
First of all, this sector may be attractive because of the large number of defense programs, its long history and its lower sensitivity to business cycles than other sectors. However, this sector has its own peculiarities such as long development times to hiring, either as a prime contractor or as a supplier. In addition, its high technical level, in some cases, requires investments in materials and human resources that can be used to carry out projects with guarantees.
A sector with great opportunities
Machining companies currently offer services such as sheet metal working, part machining and turning and offer services for both the production of large series and complex geometric unit parts, the design and manufacture of complete sub-assemblies and their assembly. and setting, the treatment of different metals (steel, stainless steel, aluminum, galvanized, brass, bronze or copper) as well as the different specific treatments for the parts according to their application.
Mecanus is a Spanish company that has followed this development, consolidating in sectors such as the ones mentioned and embarking on a process of rapprochement with the defense and aerospace industries. Currently, the company has advanced design and manufacturing capabilities to design its own products in the medium term, taking technology and added value into account. This is one of the strategies proposed by the company, an innovative SME dedicated to engineering, the added value of its products and exports. This formula has proven itself to be a winner countless times. While the processing activity depends on price competitiveness, in the medium term own products can compete in new markets and carry out technological demonstrations with their own resources, which can either be offered as finished products or integrated into systems by main contractors.
For this reason, they have chosen to integrate cutting edge technologies in the form of 3, 4 or 5 axis machining centers, also with automation systems or cutting edge software tools added to the milling tools, turning, cutting or folding to create high quality products and to be able to offer services with reduced deadlines and included costs. (Jos M Navarro Garca)
Photo: Mecanus headquarters (Mecanus)
The Mecanus functions include precision machining (Mecanus).
Company machining equipment (Mecanus)
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