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evaluated” for the venture, which will manufacture civil-aircraft
products and put the partners “at the heart of the Asian aerospace
market” where they will be able to offer both metallic and compos-
ites aero-structures that “have a proven record in the global market”.
After a start-up period, the JV ’s scope will be extended to include
design and development capability, according to the UK company.
John Pritchard, GKN Aerospace Europe and Asia aero-structures
and systems chief executive, sees the venture’s “dedicated teams,
technology leadership, and extensive aerospace experience [lead-
ing] to exciting growth opportunities. It strengthens our enduring
partnership and commitment with [China]. We need to be close to
our customers and partners and support the solid growth of the
[indigenous] aerospace industry.”
While the expansion gives GKN Aerospace its first aero-structures
venture in China, the company points out that establishment of the
venture is “subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions, including
(but not limited to) approvals by the relevant authorities.”
Another site yet to be chosen is that for a proposed low-cost
flightdeck-window capability “somewhere in Asia”. Indeed, no date
has yet be set for selection of such a location, GKN Aerospace tells
Earlier this year, the company announced receipt of Civil Aviation
Administration of China (CAAC) certification for its California facility to
repair and overhaul flight-deck windshields and cabin windows. “ With
this endorsement, we can offer our Chinese customers cost-effective
‘solutions’ for civil-aircraft transparencies,” says GKN Aerospace.
At June’s Paris Air Show, the company announced that subsidiary
GKN Fokker Elmo will continue to design, supply, and support elec-
trical-wiring interconnection systems (EWISs) for more than 30 Pratt
& Whitney turbine aircraft-engine programmes. Some of this work
will take place at GKN Fokker Elmo’s facility in China.
Previous GKN Aerospace business with the region, supported
through its Shanghai office, was a machining contract with Aero
Engine Corporation of China’s Commercial Aero Engine division
to supply test and develop parts for the turbine rear frame for the
high-bypass turbofan being developed for Chinese commercial jet
airliners. Indirect Asian activity is EWIS production in China for Ja-
pan’s HondaJet, which is assembled in the USA and for which GKN
Aerospace provides front and side windshield transparencies and
the empennage and complete composites fuselage.
Other GKN Aerospace news at Le Bourget included a contract
won by Fokker Elmo SASMOS Interconnection Systems (FE-SIL),
a joint venture involving GKN’s Dutch subsidiary in Bangalore, to
manufacture EWIS equipment for Switzerland’s Pilatus PC-24 ex-
ecutive-jet. FE-SIL currently provides wiring systems for the PC-21
and PC-7 Mk II single-engined turboprops.
“Activities in Bangalore to start the production for PC-24 EWIS
involve more than 30 highly skilled operators, [which] number will
grow after further production ramp-up,” according to GKN Aero-
space. More than 30 PC-24 aircraft are in operation, with Pilatus said
to be planning to deliver about 90 by the end of 2020.
“ We are very proud of our continued participation in the Pilatus
aircraft family. We’ve been producing EWIS at FE-SIL in India for
Pilatus aircraft since 2015 and... [now] we have strengthened our
business relationship for many more years to come,” says Pritchard.
Elsewhere in India, GKN Aerospace has hired 10 employees who
are beginning to prepare a new wiring facility now under construc-
tion in Pune and which will begin production during October-De-
cember this year. It is expected to provide some 800 engineering and
operations jobs by 2027 to support the manufacturer ’s continued
expansion in Asia.
The work follows an MoU signed between GKN Fokker Elmo and
the State of Maharashtra at the 2018 Farnborough International
air show for a US$10 million investment at Pune in the company’s
second Indian EWIS manufacturing facility.
The project, GKN Aerospace’s first wholly owned site in India, will
focus on EWIS assembly for commercial aircraft and will comple-
ment the Bangalore JV, which also serves the defence market. The
Pune plans include installation of a proprietary wiring-design and
-manufacturing system, according to the manufacturer.
India is an important country in GKN Aerospace’s plan to expand
the Asian footprint, while Pune is seen as offering favourable con-
ditions in business development, labour, education and training,
infrastructure, and location relative to major customers in the coun-
try. “ This site strengthens our partnership with [India]. The growth
of the aerospace industry in India is robust and the support of the
regional government has been vital,” says Pritchard.
“India’s growing economy and the presence of leading aerospace
companies show that important success factors are in place and
in line with the needs of the aerospace industry,” says GKN Fokker
Elmo. When this facility and the aero-engine systems repair and
research centre in Malaysia are fully operational, around 15 percent
of GKN Aerospace’s employees are expected to be based in Asia.
The GKN Aerospace facility at Johor in southern Malaysia, which
was opened last October, is expected to provide 300 jobs within two
years. The manufacturer has invested US$30 million in the site and
its related equipment and technologies.
The initial focus is on servicing low-pressure compressor fan-
blades and discs for CFM International CFM56-5B and -7 and
International Aero Engines V2500 powerplants, while research
will centre on application of additive-manufacturing technology to
Johor is centrally located for customers in the region, with access
to a skilled workforce and strong infrastructure, according to GKN
Aerospace, which says the facility will complement its existing US
component-repair centre in San Diego, California.
It also will help to meet growing demand in the Asia-Pacific
region, which the company says is expected to see growth in the
single-aisle jetliner market that employs these engines. “ This new fa-
cility highlights our commitment to support customers in Asia [and]
will definitely lead to exciting growth opportunities,” concludes GKN
Aerospace Engine Systems chief executive Joakim Andersson.
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