Manufacturing traditionally has been thought of as a process that turns raw materials into physical products, and the factory as the structure where manufacturing happens. Today the pervasive expansion of sensors and the Internet of Things (IOT), not to mention ever more demanding customers, are driving the transformation. 

Not only is it extending the digital infrastructure to encompass previously analog tasks and machine operations, but it’s also shifting the manufacturing process from a patchwork of isolated silos to an unprecedented integration of systems across domains, hierarchical boundaries and life-cycle phases. 

Layered on top of this shift is the convergence of robotics, materials science and additive manufacturing, which are revolutionizing what can be manufactured and how. Aerospace and defense manufacturers are in the middle of a digital transformation. 

Click here to read the full report by Anthony Velocci, former Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine and Editorial Director of Aviation Week Group. Understand the significant benefits offered by advanced manufacturing -- including shorter production cycles.