Airbus keen to involve Indian suppliers in co-designing aircraft parts

K Giriprakash Bengaluru | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on November 09, 2016

S Dwarkanath, CEO, Airbus India

From manufacturing detailed parts, Airbus wants its suppliers to start doing medium assemblies and then move on to complex assemblies.

Airbus on Tuesday said that it wants to deepen the level of involvement of its suppliers from India to an extent where they start co- designing parts for the aircraft maker.

Airbus India CEO S Dwarkanath told BusinessLine that the European plane maker is looking at vertical as well as horizontal integration leading up to involving Indian suppliers with design of aircraft parts.

“The holy grail in the future would be design and partner. Today, many of the aerostructure suppliers in India build to print, carry out assembly or render engineering services,” Dwarkanath said.

Earlier, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May launched the commercial production of flap track beams for A330 at the Dynamatics Technologies’ factory near here.

Dynamatics has been supplying flap track beams for A320 series since 2008. For the A330, Dynamatics will initially produce two of these per month and eventually scale up to about 100 aircraft shipsets a year.

The A330 is the world’s largest selling long range wide bodied aircraft and has a seating capacity of 295.

Dwarkanath said the aircraft maker’s focus will be vertical integration in India. He said from manufacturing detailed parts, it wants its suppliers to start doing medium assemblies and then move on to complex assemblies. Simultaneously, it wants to start sourcing raw material.

“While making a part from a billet, lot of raw material gets wasted. So, we want to recycle it and add value,” he said. Airbus is also looking at sourcing complete systems and even cabins from India at a later stage.

Sourcing doors

The Airbus India head said there is a possibility of sourcing doors for the aircraft not just from HAL but from other suppliers as well. “Our strategy is to identify capable suppliers and grow them across the value chain — from tier-three to tier-one.” Dynamatics was at one time a tier-two supplier and has graduated since then to tier one. The Bangalore-based company will also manage the entire supply chain for the flap track beam parts.

Flap track beam

Udayant Malhoutra, CEO & Managing Director, Dynamatic Technologies, said about one fourth of the entire revenues comes from aeronautics.

He said the company supplies about 93 per cent of flap track beam for the A320 series and with the new order coming in, Bengaluru and Dynamatics could become a centre for excellence for flap track beam units for Airbus globally.

He pointed out that for Airbus, sourcing from a single supplier multiple parts becomes easier and less complex. He expected Dynamatics to grow its commitment to that level.

“If you look at flap track beam, you will see it is a high lift device and there are similar devices in the aircraft and we can see more opportunities coming our way for other types of products as well,” he said.

Co-produce UAVs

He said the company plans to co-develop as well as co-produce UAVs soon. It will also transfer production of parts for A330s to its 30-acre plant which is coming up near the Bangalore International Airport.

Sources said the contract from Airbus to Dynamatic Technologies is worth about $150 million.

The production of flap track beam units will add up to £120 million to the UK economy over a 10-year period.

It will also create 60 new jobs across Dynamatic’s two UK sites and 100 jobs at the company's Bengaluru's site.

Published on November 09, 2016
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