Aerospace leaders seek an edge at conference in Lynnwood

LYNNWOOD — Workers at the Lynnwood Convention Center are getting the place ready for the hundreds of aerospace leaders gathering here this week to discuss the industry’s future.

The focus for this year’s Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance’s 16th annual conference is how to keep or gain an edge in an increasingly competitive global market. The alliance is a nonprofit advocating on behalf of the aerospace industry.

From the biggest airplane makers — Boeing and Airbus — down to the smallest supplier, companies are being pushed to drive down production costs and time. That is “changing the way we design and build each part and component of today’s commercial and military jets,” the PNAA notes on its website.

A glance at the conference’s agenda reveals the anxiety creeping through the industry. The titles of two presentations refer to the “more for less era.”

Executives from leading aircraft manufacturers Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and newcomer Mitsubishi will update attendees on their airplane programs and where they see the market going. Suppliers, such as Ed Colvin, vice president at Arconic Forgings and Extrusions, will discuss how 3D printing and other new technologies are reshaping how parts are designed, made and delivered.

More than 600 people representing 355 companies are traveling from 10 countries to attend the conference, which runs from Tuesday through Thursday.

The conference also offers smaller companies opportunities to meet with representatives from Boeing and major aerospace suppliers.

Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

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