Aerospace Industry Research - Carbon
While there was no information on the production demand (in tonnes) for carbon in the South Carolina aerospace industry, the research team compiled the available data to provide useful information: the growth in South Carolina's aerospace industry has facilitated the growth of existing carbon manufacturers and entry of new players. Below is an explanation of the research methodology as well as an overview of the useful findings.
- The aerospace industry is South Carolina's fastest-growing segment with annual employment growing at 13% compared to the state's average of 2.1%.
- The South Carolina aerospace industry currently accounts for about $24.8 billion of the state's annual output.
- There are over 400 privately-operated aerospace companies in South Carolina creating about 55,000 jobs in the state. The boom can be attributed to Boeing's arrival in South Carolina in 2018.
- South Carolina's revenue is growing at about 25%, on average.
- As the aerospace industry grows in South Carolina, many aerospace suppliers are being forced to expand to satisfy the growing demand for parts.
- South Carolina's growing aerospace industry has led to the growth of a carbon fiber cluster in the state. In 2016, carbon fiber producer Solvay expanded its footprint in the state and Toray Industries launched the construction of a $1.4 billion production plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
- In 2018, Japanese carbon-fiber giant, Teijin, started work on a $600 million production facility in Greenwood, South Carolina.
- Global carbon fiber consumption is expected to double from "60,000 metric tons in 2015 to about 150,000 metric tons in 2025."
- One kilogram of aerospace-grade carbon fiber material costs about $80. Demand will exceed supply by 2025, according to experts.
To provide the production demand (in tonnes) for carbon in the South Carolina (SC) aerospace industry, the research team began by searching through the public domain for any readily available information from industry-oriented resources as well as government and non-government commerce-focused and statistics resources. Our research began by searching through SC-based and national aerospace-focused resources such as SC Aerospace, SC Aeronautics Commission, and the Aerospace Industry Association (AIA) in the hope that they had provided or highlighted statistics on the industry's raw material consumption/demand. Aerospace-focused resources only provided information on the contribution of the SC aerospace industry to the expansion of the state's carbon sector and the profiles of companies in both the carbon production and aerospace manufacturing industries. AIA seemed to only focus on the general performance of the aerospace industry, including SC's.
We also considered both state and national manufacturing-focused resources such as the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance and the National Association of Manufacturers expecting that they had provided data on the overall production demand for raw materials in SC, as well as breakdowns by use and type. However, both state and national manufacturing-oriented resources only provided information on the performance of the SC manufacturing industry and no breakdowns of the production demands.
Our first strategy also entailed researching through governmental and non-governmental commerce/development-focused resources at all levels, for example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its regional affiliates, SC.gov, SC Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, SelectUSA.gov, and the U.S. Department of Commerce. We hoped that these resources contained information on the aerospace manufacturing industry and its demand in terms of raw materials, as well as a breakdown by location and type. Again, there was only data on the performance growth and trends in the U.S. and SC aerospace industries.
Our second strategy was to leverage market research and attempts to find industry expert analysis on the overall market in an attempt to find insights for South Carolina. We could only find reports from market research sites such as Deloitte and Grand View Research on the size, growth, and trends in the global aerospace parts manufacturing market. We followed this strategy with a comprehensive search through regional, state, and national media resources as well as press release sites, in case we had missed any reports/statistics or they had highlighted any sentiments by industry experts/authorities. There was only reports on the expansion of carbon composite manufacturers into the state due to the growing aerospace industry, as well as the financial performance and impact of the SC aerospace industry.
For our third strategy, we took a different approach and decided to find data that we could use to compile an estimate or a proxy figure for the required information. In the course of our first strategy, we had found a list of the top manufacturers in the SC aerospace industry by investment and another of the carbon fiber composites suppliers in SC. The research team then searched through the list of top manufacturers in case they had disclosed their demand for carbon so that we could provide a proxy figure. We also searched through the suppliers of carbon in case they had specified how much carbon they supplied to the state's aerospace industry. However, the desired information was unavailable since they only focused on their overall production or supply capacities.