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Smart Manufacturing System To Build Fighter Aircraft

Korea Aerospace Industries has announced that it will invest $88.3 million to develop a customized smart manufacturing system and apply it first to the production of KF-21 Boramae fighter aircraft. The smart manufacturing system will based on the 4th Industrial Revolution digital technologies including artificial intelligence and big data analytics.

According to the nation’s sole aircraft manufacturer, it will develop the smart manufacturing system by 2023 and apply the system to all of its business sites. The system will be modeled after KAI’s most advanced A350 smart factory located at its headquarters in Sacheon.

In January it was announced that Korea Aerospace Industries were in the final stage of assembling a prototype of what would be the country’s first indigenously developed fighter jet. South Korea has been working on the KF-X project since 2015 to develop a homegrown cutting-edge fighter aircraft to replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of F-4 and F-5 jets.

“The goal is to establish a standardized smart manufacturing process for Korea’s aerospace industry and pass it down to our suppliers,” a KAI official said. “We will maximise work efficiency by implementing an intelligent production system that combines digital and analysis tasks performed in areas such as production, process management, technology, purchasing, and quality control.”

KAI’s A350 smart factory manufactures wing ribs for Airbus A350 passenger aircraft. After adopting artificial intelligence, the factory, which produces 660 ribs a month, reduced its production time by 66 percent. Also, raw materials are shipped in and out of the facility in just one week, a striking improvement from the original four weeks. Also, the factory now only requires just 24 staff, down from 60.

Amid the industry reorganization under the COVID pandemic globally, KAI is aiming to strengthen market competitiveness by accelerating digital-based manufacturing.

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