HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
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Implementation of the Industry 4.0 in the aeronautical industry in Belgium. A key success factor for maintaining its global competitiveness ?

Fontaine, Valentin ULiège
Promotor(s) : Van Caillie, Didier ULiège
Date of defense : 28-Aug-2017/11-Sep-2017 • Permalink :
Title : Implementation of the Industry 4.0 in the aeronautical industry in Belgium. A key success factor for maintaining its global competitiveness ?
Translated title : [fr] Implémentaiton de l'industrie 4.0 dans le secteur aéronautique en Belgique. Un facteur clef de succès pour maintenir sa compétitivité dans le monde ?
Author : Fontaine, Valentin ULiège
Date of defense  : 28-Aug-2017/11-Sep-2017
Advisor(s) : Van Caillie, Didier ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Ernst, Damien ULiège
Hermans, Michel ULiège
Language : English
Number of pages : 65
Keywords : [en] Aeronautics
[en] Industry 4.0
[en] Manufacturing
[en] Competitiveness
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > Strategy & innovation
Target public : Professionals of domain
General public
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en management général (Horaire décalé)
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[en] This Master thesis aims at bringing together two significant current trends : the emerging competition in the aeronautical industry and the digital technologies that are expanding under the name of Industry 4.0. Reasons behind the emerging competition are shown to be linked with increasing air traffic in emerging countries and the global manufacturing empowerment that results from the historical outsourcing of more and more complex activities from Western countries. The digital technologies (such as additive manufacturing, big data, cloud computing, and so on) are presented and examples of applications are given.
The question raised by the merge of the two trends is to determine whether these technologies could be a significant leverage to maintain the aeronautical activities in Belgium.
To answer this question, qualitative considerations are formulated, fed by field research and interviews with Belgian industrials. Applications that are implemented, under development and in exploratory phase are given for practical cases in Belgian plants. They shed light upon the potential behind the technologies and the challenges that are faced.
After the qualitative considerations, a quantitative case study is presented. This case is processed by a investment decision tool developed in the frame of this thesis. The tool takes parameters linked with the way the plant works, the cost of workforce and machines, then gives a 1st order estimation of the reduction on the manufacturing cost per piece before and after a potential 4.0 investment. The tool is used in this thesis to depict a real case situation of a Belgian aeronautical manufacturing company. Then, the real situation evolves through 3 scenarios (Chinese manufacturing, incentives on employment and economies of scale) to show the dynamics behind the principal cost factors. It allows for a deeper understanding of the potential attractiveness of a 4.0 investment in the aeronautical industry in Belgium.



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  • Fontaine, Valentin ULiège Université de Liège > Master sc. gestion, à fin. (H.D.)


Committee's member(s)

  • Ernst, Damien ULiège Université de Liège - ULg > Dép. d'électric., électron. et informat. (Inst.Montefiore) > Smart grids
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Hermans, Michel ULiège Université de Liège - ULg > HEC Liège : UER > Impacts managér. des politiques de mondial. et de communic.
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Total number of views 192
  • Total number of downloads 2286

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