Aequs-Saab JV to start Supply of Overwing Door structures for Airbus
Belgaum: The Indo-Swedish joint venture for aerospace assemblies and sub-assemblies Aerostructures Assemblies India (AAIPL) will soon start shipping out the Over Wing Door structure for Airbus' A321 plane, said a top official of Aequs Aerospace group.
He also said the Aequs group has started supplying components for India's two rockets - Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)- and set to increase the production capacity of various aerospace components for different aircraft makers.
The AAIPL is a 74:26 joint venture between India's vertically integrated aerospace group Aequs and Sweden's defence and security company Saab.
"We will soon start making and supply the Over Wing Door structures for Airbus' A321 plane. The order is to supply four door structures per day and about 1,200 per year for Airbus," Rajeev Kaul, Managing Director, Aequs Aerospace told IANS.
The AAIPL is also the sole supplier of door plugs for Airbus' A321neo plane for the Airbus Cabin Flex project.
Currently, the company supplies five door plug sets (one door plug set is two doors plugs) per month and plans are there to increase it to 9-10 door sets per month, an official said.
The door plug order is for five years and the company will supply about 70-80 door sets per year.
Speaking about the orders for Indian rockets, Kaul said the group recently ventured into the space vertical to cater to the needs of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and a separate facility was set up in Honaga near Belgaum.
While majority of the group's revenue is from the commercial aviation sector, Kaul said they would look at the space sector in a serious manner once the volumes pick up.
The $100 million revenue Aequs aerospace group also has two more joint ventures - component surface treatment Aerospace Processing India Pvt Ltd (with Magellan Aerospace, Canada), forging company SQuAD Forgings India Pvt Ltd (with Aubert & Duval, France) and a precision machining company Aequs Private Ltd.
The Aequs group makes components for aircraft makers like Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Collins and others.
The global commercial aerospace machining market is about $20-30 billion and India gets only $500 million and Aequs Aerospace strategy is to grow this business.
One of the areas being looked at by Aequs Aerospace is to go for long bed machining - 3.5 metres length.
"It will be a gantry type machining. Earlier we used to do sub-2 metres. Now customers are seeing cost savings of about 15 per cent in these components when done in India, which was not the case earlier," Kaul said.
As a part of the expansion of its precision machining business, Aequs has set up a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) where by the raw material fed at one end and final product is taken out at the other end.
Earlier each machining work was done in one machine and the product is taken to another machine to do a different kind of work resulting in reduced output.
Kaul said, the global commercial aviation business is growing at about 3-4 per cent per annum and for a long time the aircraft makers have not shown a decline in their business.
The major aircraft makers have an order backlog of about 7-8 years and an intervening dip in their business will not have any major cascading effect on component makers, Kaul remarked.
According to him, about $100 million has been invested in the aerospace component manufacturing business and Aequs Aerospace is now breaking even.