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Airbus Expands MRO Footprint In Asia

Airbus Expands MRO Footprint In Asia

Following separate announcements by Asia Digital Engineering Sdn BhD (ADE) and Korea Aviation Engineering & Maintenance Service Ltd. (KAEMS) for Airbus customers in Asia, Mathew George, Ph.D, Analyst, Aerospace, Defense and Security at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“AirAsia Group’s ADE and KAI’s KAEMS made separate announcements on the expansion of maintenance, repairs and overhaul (MRO), thus marking an increased footprint for Airbus customers to avail MRO services in Asia. With the pandemic still wreaking havoc, airlines and countries had put on hold the programs to purchase new aircraft and make sure that the lives of the present aircraft be extended safely as much as possible. Countries, including India, actively started to explore MRO services and proposed the possible mechanisms and programs to turn themselves into regional MRO hubs.

According to GlobalData, the military aerospace MRO market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.93 percent in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region between 2020 and 2030 and will be valued at US$17.85bn by 2030.

While ADE obtained the approval for base maintenance (hangar or C-Checks) from Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), KAEMS was able to sign an MoU with Airbus Defense & Space (ADS) for technical support for C-212 and CN-235 aircraft. ADE’s support extends not just to AirAsia fleet of A320, A321 and A330 aircraft, the approval allows it to undertake MRO services for other airlines as well. ADE was also able to secure approvals from India’s DGCA and Indonesia, raising the bar for ADE and Malaysia to provide MRO services for airlines across Southeast Asia.

Governments have shown their resolve to fund upgrade and replacement programs. However, with lockdowns continuing in countries, and increasing cases like India’s still a possibility in other geographies, airlines and governments will continue to focus on sustainment of existing capability. In addition, with long lead times and unexpected delays still a possibility, a lackadaisical approach to MRO is not something anyone can afford.”

 

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Advancing MRO Solutions With Additive Manufacturing

Advancing MRO Solutions With Additive Manufacturing

ST Engineering and EOS have collaborated to introduce multiple AM solutions for the aerospace sector—from qualified systems and materials to 3D print certified parts that are more durable and more effective in operations.

ST Engineering’s Aerospace sector has been building its portfolio in virtual inventory to enhance customers’ air operation performance, including solutions for commonly damaged aircraft components. Printing on demand helps eliminate waste when platforms are retired, reducing non-moving inventory. In addition, with approved digital files and qualified 3D printers & processes, certified parts can be produced close to aircraft sites, vastly reducing delivery-related carbon emissions and improving cost efficiencies.

Confident that additive manufacturing (AM) is the way forward, the company collaborates with technology partners and like-minded airline customers to develop multiple AM solutions. Here, ST Engineering shares how they successfully broadened and deepened their capabilities for AM solutions. 

Overcoming Challenges

Back in 2018, ST Engineering already had plans to expand their AM capabilities from Filament Layer Manufacturing (FLM) technologies to include Laser Powder Bed (LPB) technologies- covering the two processes of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Direct Metal Laser Solidification (DMLS) – so as to offer a wider range of additive manufacturing solutions to customers. 

Originally, it only had Design Organisation Approval (DOA) and Production Organisation Approval (POA) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for FLM technology. For the LPB technologies, the plan was to build in-house capabilities in managing and qualifying the systems, materials and processes, which would in turn open more application potential to produce AM aircraft parts. 

As a new adopter of LPB AM technologies, ST Engineering decided to collaborate with EOS, one of the industry’s pioneering leaders specialising in LPB AM systems, to jumpstart their learning curve in understanding the possibilities and limitations of both SLS and DMLS processes.

AM Solution

By the end of 2018, ST Engineering and EOS’ consulting arm, Additive Minds, established an Additive Manufacturing Capability Transfer program. The program comprised customised training and consulting workshops that aimed to build strong fundamentals among attendees in the following topics: parts screening and selection, design for AM, business case analysis, and introduction on critical-to-quality requirements for AM processes.

After the Capability Transfer Program, ST Engineering selected a load-bearing cabin interior assembly with no impact on flight safety from their converted freighter aircraft as a benchmark to kickstart their adoption journey with both SLS and DMLS technologies. 

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Rolls Royce Discovers Cracks In Engine Blades

Rolls Royce Discovers Cracks In Engine Blades

Already dealing with the financial struggles of COVID-19, Rolls Royce has discovered technical problems with its Trent XWB engines. Routine inspection found cracks in its compressor blades on a small number of its XWB engine which powers the Airbus A350 widebody aircraft.

Previously, issues with its turbine blades fitted to its Trent 1000 engines powering the Boeing 787 are costing £2.4 billion to fix over 2017-2023. Adding on to the costs, Rolls Royce could spend an estimate of £50 million to fix the issue with its Trent XWB engines.

None of the Trent XWB engines in service have reported any issues with flight prior to the discovery of the fault, however those with similar service life will also be inspected. The group assures investors and customers that this issue will not cause significant disruptions for carriers or material annual costs.

According to Globaldata, Rolls-Royce has been one of the worst affected aerospace companies and has announced 9000 job cuts. Its wide-body engine flying hours, the lifeline of the company’s commercial business, fell by 75 percent in Q2.

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APMEN SURVEY: COVID-19 Impact On Manufacturing Industry

APMEN SURVEY: COVID-19 Impact On Manufacturing Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic has been having an unprecedented impact on the global manufacturing supply chain. For instance, factory shutdowns have drastically impacted the metalworking supply chain around the car and auto parts manufacturing industries.

In line with our continuing coverage of the impact of COVID-19, Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) recently conducted a survey regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the manufacturing industry, including automotive and auto parts, aerospace and aerospace parts, electronics/electrical equipment, die and mould, machine tool, and medical device/equipment sectors.

Key questions include the challenges they experienced as a result of the pandemic; expected impact on their 2020 sales compared to last year; the most likely impact on their supply chains in the next six months; and whether they are expecting a pent up demand after the pandemic.

Here are some key findings:

  • 71 percent of respondents saw a decrease in demand for their products because of the lockdowns in every market worldwide.
  • Perhaps because of the drop in demand, majority or 47 percent of the respondents expect pent-up demand after the pandemic.
  • 55 percent of manufacturers surveyed, expect a decrease of more than 10 percent in sales this year
  • In line with that, 21 percent are saying they will diversify their supply chains by working with more suppliers, and 16 percent say they will shift to a localized supply chain.

For the full survey results, keep a look out for APMEN’s upcoming Jul/Aug issue!

Staying Connected

During a crisis, a spotlight is placed on the importance of the connection between a brand and its clients. In fact, 40 percent of our respondents say staying connected with their customers are among the key challenges they’ve experienced during the pandemic.

Your clients might be panicking, but it is important to provide them with anchors from your business to act as a focal point, like a beacon of light in a dark time.

It is key to establish such a light source through various human touchpoints. You should remind them of your shared experiences and the results that were delivered—and one way to do so is through targeted branding exercises for your business. Branding opens doors and creates new avenues for clients to reach out to you while seeing the value in doing business with you.

We at Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) would be very happy to help you on this front. Reach out to us and find out more about our solutions!

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[WATCH] APMEN Speaks On The Impact Of COVID-19 On ASEAN’s Metalworking Industries

[WATCH] APMEN Speaks On The Impact Of COVID-19 On ASEAN’s Metalworking Industries

In a webinar hosted by Taipei International Machine Tool Show (TIMTOS), Kenneth Tan, Publisher of Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) speaks about the impacts of the pandemic on ASEAN’s metalworking industries, including the automotive, and aerospace & MRO sectors and what we can expect in the post COVID-19 era.

Besides the ASEAN region, the webinar, organised by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), also addresses the impact of COVID-19 in the European and US markets. Other speakers include Gabriel Pankow, Head of Digital Editorial Office of mi connect and Michael Vaughn, Chief Consultant of Indiana Research Institute.

Watch the full webinar here:

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ASEAN Aerospace And MRO Industry In The Wake Of COVID-19

ASEAN Aerospace And MRO Industry In The Wake Of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has an unprecedented adverse impact on the aviation industry and, consequently, on the MRO business, without clear visibility on the timing of its recovery, according to Singapore-based SIA Engineering Co. Ltd. Border controls imposed by countries worldwide and the precipitous decline in travel demand has forced drastic cuts in flight capacities and grounding of aircraft.

In response to the worsening crisis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is projecting a more realistic U-shaped recovery for the air travel industry, with domestic travel coming back faster than the international market. 

Many expect that because of the impact of the pandemic, activity in the commercial aerospace market will take several years to return to the levels seen just a few months ago. Some players in the aerospace manufacturing industry, including Boeing and Rolls-Royce, have even announced workforce reduction and production cuts.

However, Boeing is seeing some green shoots. Some customers are reporting that reservations are outpacing cancellations on their flights for the first time since the pandemic started, while some countries and U.S. states are starting cautiously to open their economies again.

  • Boeing, in fact, has resumed production of the 737 MAX at the company’s Renton, Washington factory.
  • On 14 April 2020, IATA released an updated analysis showing that the COVID-19 crisis will see global airline passenger revenues drop by US$314 billion in 2020, a 55 percent decline compared to 2019. Airlines in Asia Pacific will see the largest revenue drop of US$113 billion in 2020 compared to 2019 (-US$88 billion in 24 March estimate), and a 50 percent fall in passenger demand in 2020 compared to 2019 (-37 percent in 24 March estimate).

According to Oliver Wyman:

  • As of late April, over 65 percent of the pre-COVID fleet of 27,500 commercial aircraft have been parked
  • The current trajectory for fleet reductions and lower aircraft utilisation would reduce global MRO demand in 2020 by over $48 billion, or 53 percent

Here’s an update of what has been happening in ASEAN’s aerospace and MRO industry amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Indonesia

  • Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, has resumed domestic flights starting May 7, 2020.
  • PT Garuda Maintenance Facilities (GMF) AeroAsia expects to see increasing demand for MRO services from non-affiliated international airlines and has projected an 80 percent y-o-y increase for MRO services, from 71 percent in 2019

Philippines

  • AirAsia is set to gradually resume services in the Philippines on June 5, 2020, following the Philippine government’s directive of easing community quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and several parts of the country. The resumption of services will initially be for key domestic routes, and will gradually increase to include international destinations by July 1.
  • Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP), comprising: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines, sees the industry shrinking in the next two years. The association has requested government assistance, including waiver of airport charges and credit guarantees
  • Infrastructure projects still ongoing: Lufthansa Technik and Metrojet Engineering

Thailand

  • Airbus withdraws from MRO joint venture with Thai Airways
  • Thai Airways has filed for bankruptcy protection to rehabilitate business (to restructure under the supervision of the local bankruptcy court). Will not resume its international flight operations until 30 June.
  • The proposed MRO project at the U-Tapao Airport will proceed as planned despite Thai Airways International (THAI) entering bankruptcy. The THB11 billion project has already been approved by the Cabinet and a contract is expected to be signed in June. (The Nation Thailand)

Singapore

85 percent of the Singapore industry is involved in maintaining and repairing aircraft. Singapore also plays a small but critical role in the global aerospace supply chain, with its SMEs having a key role in MRO and manufacturing—supporting special processes, tooling, testing, logistics, manpower, and other services. (Association of Aerospace Industries Singapore)

  • SIA has announced that it will resume flights to 27 destinations and increase no. flights for other services in June & July
  • Government has set aside S$750 million of support for the aviation sector and consolidation is expected to happen over the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Collins Aerospace, which just opened a 10,000 sq ft innovation hub in Singapore, is “monitoring the evolving market conditions very closely”. 
  • Rolls-Royce has scaled down its operations in its facility which tests Trent aero engines (Channel News Asia)
  • ST Engineering 
    • expects a slowdown in its aerospace unit due to deferred MRO services and lowered original equipment production rates 
    • however, the company has secured about $838 million across its spectrum of aviation manufacturing and MRO businesses
      • The MRO contracts included A320 heavy maintenance contracts and CFM56-7B engine maintenance contracts from Chinese airlines, and a component Maintenance-By-the-Hour (MBHTM) contract from a Southeast Asian airline to provide comprehensive component maintenance services for its entire fleet of Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400. 
    • The Group is discussing with its customers to adjust delivery schedules or address order cancellations due to the evolving crisis. As at the end of 1Q, the Group’s order book remains robust.
  • BOC Aviation, a company involved in aircraft sales and leasing has extended its Engine MRO contract with Lufthansa Technik for another five years.
  • Through the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), companies such as ST Engineering and SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) will receive millions in additional wage support to cushion the devastating blow that COVID-19 has dealt the aerospace industry. (The Business Times)

Vietnam:

  • Suspended all international and most domestic flights in March and April in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, domestic flights have resumed since April 22, after the government lifted a lockdown order, while international flights are expected to partially resume from June 1.
  • Will not consider applications for new airlines as it looks to prioritise the recovery of its aviation sector after the impact of the novel coronavirus, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV). (Bangkok Post)

 

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Share Your Insights: COVID-19 & Your Business

Share Your Insights: COVID-19 & Your Business

The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the global manufacturing supply chain. For instance, factory shutdowns have drastically impacted the metalworking supply chain around the car and auto parts manufacturing industries. While the medical equipment sector is experiencing massive demand, the grounding of airline fleets is expected to put a dent in the MRO industry—at least those segments involving metalworks.

In line with our continuing coverage of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, we at Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News (APMEN) are conducting the following brief survey regarding the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak to your business. Your participation in this survey is greatly appreciated and will help ensure we are providing you and the industry with the best content possible.

Take Our Survey

 

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How Is COVID-19 Impacting The Aircraft MRO Industry In SEA?

How Is COVID-19 Impacting The Aircraft MRO Industry In SEA?

Global air traffic has practically been brought to a standstill and the global airline industry has plummeted as countries worldwide implement travel restrictions and fleet groundings to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Airlines in Asia Pacific will suffer a large revenue drop of US$113 billion in 2020 compared to 2019, and a 50 percent fall in passenger demand in 2020 compared to 2019 with the worsening COVID-19 crisis, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Furthermore, IATA expects a $314 billion drop in total world carrier earnings this year. Here are some of the measures in the region:

  • Singapore Airlines has grounded 96 percent of its approximately 200-plane fleet on March 23 and resuming of operations is unclear.
  • Thai Airways has cancelled all international flights and transferred flights from Bangkok to Phuket, Krabi and Chiang Mai to its sister company Thai Smile Airways. The cancellations will last until May 30.
  • Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific flights have been suspended until May 15. The airlines are committed to resume operations starting May 16, 2020, depending on government mandates and regulations.
  • Malaysia Airlines suspended flight operations across its network until May 2020 for domestic and June 2020 for international services.
  • Indonesia commercial flights—domestic and international—are banned until June 1
  • Vietnam’s Jetstar Pacific has suspended international flight and cut back domestic flying

The demand for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services are high dependant on the size and flight activity of global fleets. With grounded aircrafts, demand for these services diminishes and MRO providers and spare parts suppliers will suffer, according to a report by Roland Berger.

The original forecast for MRO spending in 2020 has been adjusted with a 59 percent drop for the region—from US$91.2 billion to US$42.7 billion (Oliver Wyman). Major players such as Boeing are switching its focus to defence from commercial flights to weather the crisis while Airbus has postponed ramp up of commercial aircrafts (Globaldata). Furthermore, Airbus has recently dropped out of a joint venture with Thai Airways International for the development of a 11-billion-baht MRO facility at Thailand’s U-Tapao Airport due to the impact of COVID-19.

Despite the bleak outlook, there is hope for the industry with global efforts. Companies like Rolls-Royce has established a COVID-19 data alliance to kickstart economy into recovery. Moreover, general aviation is playing an active role in the fight against the pandemic by providing transport of medical supplies and key personnel.

 

WE LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!

As the pandemic is still evolving, what is the future of the aviation and MRO industry? How is the situation in your region? How have you been impacted? What do you think are some strategies which could help this sector recover from the impact? 

Do send us you insights and drop us a note at  [email protected]!

 

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Thai Airways To Move Ahead With MRO Project Despite Airbus Dropout

Thai Airways To Move Ahead With MRO Project Despite Airbus Dropout

With the worsening worldwide pandemic, European planemaker, Airbus, has decided to pull out of the joint venture with Thai Airways International to develop a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Rayong’s U-Tapao Airport. However, Thai Airways has announced that it will press ahead with the project, either on its own or with a new partner.

This 11-billion-baht MRO facility was part of the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) mega-investment project to promote Thailand as an aviation and MRO hub in the region. The planned MRO hub would feature the latest digital technologies and was set for completion in 2022-2023.

Unfortunately, with global air traffic practically brought to a standstill, Airbus has been hit hard by the crisis and will be dropping out of the project investment—although the company will still cooperate on technology.

Thai Airways remains hopeful as there is time to find a new partner with construction still in its early stages and that Airbus or Boeing would come back in after the pandemic eases.

 

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Aircraft Milled Parts Market To Reach US$4.3B In 2025

Aircraft Milled Parts Market To Reach US$4.3B In 2025

The aircraft milled parts market is projected to grow at a healthy rate over the next five years to reach an estimated value of US$ 4.3 billion in 2025, according to a report by Stratview Research.

Milled parts or components are those machined components which are mainly produced through the milling process. Rapid advancements in the milling process i.e. from conventional milling machines to advanced CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machines and high-speed machining centers have paved the way for milled components/parts in the aerospace industry. These advancements have also helped the industry to achieve its main objective of optimising metal removal rates and minimising chatter.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is ending the longest 16 years of the industry boon, which had begun when the industry had emerged out from another infectious disease SARS (2002-2003). The aerospace industry is projected to be one of the most severely impacted industries due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As per the recent estimates of IATA, the airline industry is expecting to record a possible loss of US$ 252 billion of passenger revenues, an equivalent of a 38 percent loss in RPKs in 2020 from 2019. Complete lockdown of many countries, due to the pandemic, has forced several airlines to cut their flying capacity due to grounded fleets and operate at a reduced capacity of five percent to 40 percent of their total strength.

The overall impact of the outbreak is still unpredictable; however, currently, it is anticipated to be graver than the SARS (2002-2003) and the MERS (2015). And yet the industry is optimist about its recovery as it did during SARS (2002-2003).

The demand for milled parts in the industry is largely dependent on the overall health of the aviation industry. Huge order backlogs of Boeing and Airbus (13,237 aircraft at the end of Feb 2020),  accelerating demand for replacing iconic aircraft such as A380 and B747, which are forced to retire early by several airlines due to the outbreak, with A321, A350XWB and B787, and the market entry of new aircraft programs such A321XLR, B777X, C919, and MC-21; are anticipated to assure a speedy recovery of the aircraft industry including milled parts.

Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period, driven by upcoming indigenous aircraft program i.e. COMAC C919 and Mitsubishi SpaceJet, and opening of assembly plant of Boeing and Airbus in China for B737, A330, A320, and A350. Further, key economies, such as India and China, in the region are incessantly increasing their defense budget with the purpose to acquire the latest military aircraft to solidify their defense capabilities along with their offset policy and development of indigenous military aircraft such as Tejas and J20.

 

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