Rolls-Royce secures new agreement with Emirates
Despite the announcement this week of Airbus’ recent decision to cease production of its superjumbo A380 in 2021, Rolls Royce is moving forward.
Securing an order for its Trent 7000 engines to power 40 Airbus A330neo aircraft from Emirates, the order will encompass Rolls-Royce’s flagship TotalCare long-term service support capabilities. Additionally, Emirates has ordered 30 Airbus A350 aircraft, powered by the Trent XWB, which will also be covered by TotalCare, providing a significant financial boost for the business.
Under the agreement reached, Rolls Royce will also manufacture Trent 900 engines for a further 14 Airbus A380s, taking the total Emirates A380 fleet powered by Trent 900 engines to 33. It supersedes previous deals with Emirates for a total of 52 A380 aircraft powered by the Trent 900.
“We welcome the news that Emirates is further extending its relationship with Airbus and Rolls-Royce. The addition of Airbus A330-900 and Airbus A350-900 aircraft to the Emirates fleet will make the airline one of the largest users of Trent engines in the world and we look forward to continuing to support them and their customers,” commented Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace
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The company will continue to provide engines for the remaining Trent 900-powered Airbus A380s to be delivered to customers including Emirates, where it will support the whole Trent 900 fleet in service throughout its lifetime.
“The A380 is a world class feat of engineering, much loved by passengers, and we are obviously saddened that deliveries will come to an end. We are very proud to have supported the aircraft with our Trent 900 engine. We look forward to supporting the fleet, as the A380 continues to delight travellers, for many years to come,” added Cholerton.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.