Supply Chain Management
Development of a Mathematical Model for Supply Chain Mapping of Composite Materials in the Aerospace Industry

Article Details
Pub. Date : Jun, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Supply Chain Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJSCM31906
Author Name : Amool A Raina and Thomas Gries
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Strategic
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 25



Aerospace industry has seen an escalating trend towards the use of alternative materials with enhanced properties in building aircrafts since 1950. The wide application of composite materials in aerospace industry has opened paths to various studies within. Development of composite materials for use in the aerospace sector is both expensive and involves high risk; therefore, the initial development was performed by the defence sector which has a relatively large budget as compared to commercial aircraft manufacturers. The use of lightweight materials in aircraft manufacturing is driven by several factors, such as the need to reduce consumption of fuel, global trend of reducing CO2 emission and the need to increase cargo/passenger load per flight. Composite materials give OEMs an opportunity to produce lightweight structures and thereby reduce fuel costs and further reduce emissions. Hence, the increase in usage of composite materials in aerospace is justified. The supply chain mapping of composite materials is the primary focus of this study. The principle involved in developing the procurement strategy of these materials in a complex supply chain network and its manufacturability is the motivation for this project. Optimizing a procurement strategy is always a tradeoff between many dimensions. The three main aspects are quality, time and cost. This paper investigates the issues of mapping processes through effective planning to minimize the overall cost, maximize the industry set quality standards and minimize the lead times for procuring the product. A mathematical model is developed, and an optimization problem is addressed as a part of this paper.


Supply chain management is defined as the administration of interconnected organizations, activities and processes aimed at providing the required products and/or services to the end customers. Thus, supply chain management focuses on overall flow and storage of raw materials, work in process inventory and finished goods from its point of source until the point of utilization (Balkan et al., 2011). The framework of supply chain is explained in Figure 1. Processes and operations, activities and organizations are the major components which contribute to the long chain of activities and decisions. These components are encompassed by the supply chain which aims at an optimized flow of data, material and activities. This in turn is guided by the corporate management to design the strategy of expected working principles of the supply chain.