Digitalization and Internationalization Maturity Level in Aerospace

Digitalization and Internationalization Maturity Level in Aerospace

The DIMLA project – short for “Digitalisation and Internationalisation Maturity Level in Aerospace” – was launched to assess the maturity level of SMEs in terms of digitalisation and internationalisation. The project aims to develop a flexible and adaptive system of key performance indicators (KPIs) that will make it possible to assess the maturity level of SMEs in the aerospace industry.

The “KPI Grid” is designed to help develop and improve business and manufacturing processes in an environment of constantly changing business models. This will enable companies to successfully participate in the ramp-up of production rates within the supply chain.


Owing to the increasing digitalisation of supply chains, more and more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in particular, are being forced to adapt their processes, logistics and even product portfolios. Nowadays, it is crucial for aerospace companies to achieve a high degree of digitalisation in almost all areas of their business. Large aerospace companies on the Tier 1 and OEM levels expect their suppliers to digitally integrate their production processes in order to be able to optimise their own production planning. For this reason, companies need to demonstrate their industrial capabilities in order to stay competitive and to be able to flexibly react to fluctuating order levels. Having a reliable measurement system that indicates the degree of digitalisation is therefore of great importance to companies.

The same logic also applies when it comes to the degree of internationalisation. As the aerospace supply chain becomes increasingly globalised and industrialised, companies must internationalise their customer relationships and their own manufacturing and supply chains.

DIMLA is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of its “Internationalisation of Leading-Edge Clusters, Forward-Looking Projects and Comparable Networks” initiative. The six German project partners met in Hamburg on 22 October 2018 for a kick-off event. Almost a month later, the international kick-off meeting was held in Montreal and brought together all project partners for the first time. These partners included: Süderelbe AG, Hamburg Aviation, Hamburg University of Technology, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Hanse-Aerospace and Tagueri AG from Germany as well as Aéro Montréal, L’École de technologie supérieure, APN and Siemens PLM Software from elsewhere in the world.

Plans call for having Hamburg University of Technology and the DLR jointly devise the KPIs during the current half-year, and then to have Tagueri AG and Süderelbe AG evaluate the KPIs in real-world application.


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