South Africa's largest commercial aerospace manufacturing company, Aerosud Aviation, announced at the Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition on Thursday that it was offering its business solutions capabilities to other companies. This formed part of the company's new Growth Strategy, stated Aerosud Aviation MD Johan Steyn.
The company originally developed its business solutions capabilities to meet its own in-house requirements, which included the need to manage long and complex supply chains on the one hand, and to fit into, and coordinate effectively with, the supply chains of global major aerospace groups, in particular Airbus and Boeing.
Aerosud's new business solutions offering was focused on helping companies implement "Industry 4.0" technologies. These included the Internet of Things, complex process control, robotics, enterprise resource planning, and product lifecycle management. This offering would not be restricted to the aerospace sector but would also be made available to other high-technology industries, assured Steyn.
The company has also made major investments -- totalling more than €3-million over the past three years -- in upgrading its technology and expanding its production capacity. This included the purchase of a new structural composite technology in 2015, which is now the property of Aerosud Technology Solutions.
After the technology was acquired, Aerosud had to make significant investments to bring it up to the requisite level of maturity. This process included the construction of a number of technology demonstrators.
The company now supplied more than 5 000 parts per month to Boeing, sent to 14 different production sites. These included parts for the 737 MAX and 777-X airliner programmes.
It also sent one shipset a month of parts and aerostructures to Airbus Defence and Space for the A400M military airlifter programme. It also recently completed the quality certification of Aerosud's structural composite facility.
The company had also made a significant investment in a fully automated robotic welding facility. This had resulted in US aerostructures major Spirit Aerosystems last year extending its contract with Aerosud for another five years.
Moreover, the company had successfully increased its production capacity for parts for the Airbus A320 airliner family. These parts were supplied to Safran Electrical Power, for integration with other parts, the resulting components then being sent to Airbus. Aerosud had successfully met the production rate test of more than 60 shipsets per month.
Aerosud also supplied parts destined for the Airbus A380 through Safran, although this production rate has remained stable. The South African company had recently delivered its first production parts for a new Airbus A350 contract, which had been signed last year.
Aerosud Aviation is one of two companies in the Aerosud Holdings group, the other being Aerosud Technology Solutions.