Fabricators, assemblers key for Lockheed Martin’s future, keynoter says

Designing for variability and affordability are key requirements throughout the military supply chain, according to IPC APEX EXPO keynoter Jeff Wilcox. Lockheed Martin’s engineering vice president also stressed the need for sustainability and adaptability, noting that in all these areas, support from IPC member companies plays a big role in what his engineering teams can do.

Military equipment must fit a variety of applications, many of them unexpected, over a lifetime that can span half a century. At the same time, designs being completed today must be far more affordable than those companies like Lockheed Martin have developed for the past century.  Sustainability has become a watchword over the past few years, impacting everything from water consumption to fuel usage of end products.

“That will have a big impact on this industry,” Wilcox told an audience that filled an expansive hall. Many factors throughout the manufacturing cycle will be examined as part of a product’s carbon footprint, he noted.

Of these criteria, “affordability consumes the biggest part of my day,” Wilcox said. Affordability isn’t just about trimming costs. Providing value is just as important. If a product can do something that can’t be done with other equipment, its value will be high.

He noted that circuit board fabricators and assemblers provide the infrastructure for the products that Lockheed Martin develops. “Having a strong supplier base is absolutely critical for us,” Wilcox said. A large factor in what we do is based on what you do. We want to help you establish strategic plans.”

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