Airbus Helicopters is taking new measures to improve its customer service and support worldwide, according to Matthieu Louvot, the company’s director of support and services. “We are more than doubling our investment in IT systems–among others–for logistics and we have put a great deal of thought in high tech systems,” he said. “Customers will notice a difference very soon.”
The first robot built for Airbus’s Futurassy research and technology project arrived at the airframer’s Puerto Real plant in Cadiz, Spain, this week. The riveting unit, built by Japan’s Kawada, will help Airbus machinists assemble A380 rudder spars.
Airbus will increase its share China’s Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Center (HMC) from 20 to 25 percent under the terms of an agreement signed recently by Airbus COO Günter Butschek and AVIC executive vice president Geng Ruguang. Established in the 2009, the joint venture involves Airbus and a group of Chinese partners led by Avic.
Lengthy aircraft program delays happen for a variety of reasons, but a common thread lies in what multinational management consultancy Accenture calls their extraordinary complexity and the “interwoven” nature of the decisions of hundreds of suppliers. Compounding such complexity, says Accenture, a wide geographic dispersion of suppliers exists across virtually all regions of the world, resulting in fragmented, disaggregated and misaligned development processes, supply chain calculations such as parts shortages and manufacturing/engineering inefficiencies.
Airbus has become the newest member of the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and research (A*STAR) aerospace program, it was announced at the Aerospace Technology Leadership Forum in downtown Singapore on Monday. Airbus joins various other OEMs as members–such as Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier, GE, P&W, Rolls-Royce, Safran and Honeywell–and major aviation Singapore companies-such as ST Aerospace and SIA Engineering.
In collaboration with Airbus, Switzerland-based SR Technics (Booth D11) has announced an in-service Sharklet retrofit to its maintenance capabilities from 2015, becoming one of the first third-party providers to do so. The modifications will be offered on Airbus 319 and A320s. The offering will be made out the company’s aircraft maintenance facilities in Malta or Zurich, In order to reduce aircraft downtime, SR Technics is “exploring the option to combine the retrofit with a scheduled base maintenance visit or other modifications, noted a statement.
Growth is the word in the Asia-Pacific region, and since 2010 Jet Aviation Singapore has more than doubled the number of skilled workers it employs; three-quarters of the new employees are local hires. To meet growing demand for business aviation services in the region, Jet Aviation Singapore has raised its employee headcount to 123 from 59 in 2010 and plans to hire 13 more aviation professionals this year.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia (Booth E35), also known as Indonesia Aerospace (IAe), delivered its first complete main fuselage assembly for the EC225/725 helicopter series to Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopter) last December. The company had previously supplied five upper fuselage sections, as well as 23 tail booms, in a $43 million long-term deal struck in 2008 that called for a total of 125 component sets. Now IAe has been entrusted to supply integrated fuselages. This year, it will supply one every 10 weeks, and one tail boom every three weeks.
For Franco-Italian regional turboprop manufacturer ATR (Booth E01), the Asia Pacific region now takes top spot in its geographic sales rankings, but orders from China still seem to be eluding the company. Last year ATR saw orders and deliveries grow again, reaching record levels and steady profitability, but it has yet to convince shareholders Airbus Group and Finmeccanica to launch a new larger turboprop in the 90-seat category.
Airbus Helicopters (Booth J23), formerly Eurocopter, is seeing the Chinese market taking off at last, thus beginning to keep its promises. Norbert Ducrot, CEO of Airbus Helicopters China (who is also responsible for Japan and South Korea), said the company plans to increase its presence with more sales, as well as the addition of maintenance, training and assembly facilities.