Important Factors in the Transfer of Aircraft Production : Challenges Related to Offset Business

Abstract: Today, many global industries have difficulties meeting their transfer of production cost targets; the complexity in transfer of production is often underestimated. The aircraft manufacturing industry is a relevant example of a global industry, as many aircraft manufacturers produce parts in different areas of the world. The aircraft manufacturing industry include highly complex production technologies, is regulated by strict national and international standards, and utilizes a comprehensive configuration management.Large international agreements in defence-related industries often involve offset business. The most important parameters for the buying organisation in offset business are to create relations, import technical knowledge/production, promote domestic merchandise, and create employment for the local population.The purpose of the research is to identify, categorise and explore challenges related to transfer of aircraft production within offset business. The research is conducted as a case study at the Swedish enterprise SAAB Aeronautics. Future export deals for SAAB Aeronautics will in all probability consist of offsetbusiness including transfer of production, involving for example parts or entire aircraft to the receiving country.Several factors connected to transfer of aircraft production were identified. The factors were categorised and three of the categories were selected for in-depth studies:Category 1: Cultural challenges and communicationCategory 2: Configuration managementCategory 3: Transfer of knowledge and technologyThe results from the in-depth studies can help Aeronautics in planning and conducting transfer of aircraft production.