Aerospace suppliers are turning bullish on military contracts ahead of what many see as a surge in defense spending, despite the sector taking a backseat in recent years to the commercial aircraft industry.
Gavin Brown, the executive director of the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA), expects strong production of both commercial and military aircraft continuing into 2017. As demand for long-range aircraft like the Boeing 777 increases, large OEMs will be eying ways to cut costs through production. For West Michigan manufacturers, that presents an opportunity for companies that can adapt to the latest technology and work cost-cutting measures into production, Brown said. However, uncertainty over the trade policies for the incoming presidential administration could cause pain for companies such as Boeing, which plans to sell more aircraft to countries including Iran and Russia. Brown spoke with MiBiz regarding the opportunities and challenges for aerospace suppliers going into 2017.
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BATTLE CREEK — Concerns over national security could spark wider access to a $100 billion industry for West Michigan manufacturers.
Manufacturing industry groups are tracking a number of key policy issues this year that could have a variety of implications on their West Michigan members.
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Rapid growth in the aerospace industry could pose its share of challenges for West Michigan-based suppliers that are already plagued by capacity constraints.
One West Michigan institution is taking advantage of the growing aerospace industry to offer specialized training for engineers.