MALAYSIA, PUTRAJAYA, 12 August 2015–UMW M&E Sdn. Bhd. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, UMW Aerospace Sdn. Bhd. have signed a 25 year agreement with Rolls-Royce Plc to manufacture and assemble fan cases for Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 aero engines.
The deal is part of Rolls-Royce’s strategy to create a world-class, competitive global supply chain that is closer to customers in growth regions. In 2012, Rolls-Royce opened a 65,000 sq metre facility at the Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore. That facility manufactures fan blades and assembles and tests Rolls-Royce engines including the Trent 1000. Fan cases made under this agreement will be delivered to this facility.
Rolls-Royce has been developing Southeast Asia as a supply hub over a number of years and this agreement is the result of Rolls-Royce’s commitment to the region and demonstrates the positive impact the Seletar facility has made on growth in aerospace capability in Malaysia and the rest of the region.
The agreement was signed by Mark Prockter, Rolls-Royce, Supply Chain Development Executive, Compressor Components and Megat Shahrul Azmir, Executive Director, UMW Manufacturing & Engineering Division, in the presence of Y.A.B. Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
UMW’s expansion into the aviation industry is a significant step for the conglomerate and it will be the first company in Malaysia to become a Tier 1 supplier to Rolls-Royce. Aircraft manufacturers require strong lean manufacturing competency in order to handle increasing volumes of production and UMW has existing capabilities that can be adapted to the aerospace industry.
The fan case project will also allow UMW to migrate from labour intensive manufacturing to high value manufacturing. It will also see UMW reposition its core competencies, embarking upon precision machining and assembly of crucial aerospace components. As part of establishing capability, UMW will put in place a pre-production and technology development centre that will work on future manufacturing technologies to drive competitiveness and increased manufacturing capability, such as automation and machining technology. An engine fan case consists of approximately 4,000 components and it is one of the largest part of the engine.
The deal also represents a significant success for Malaysia’s plans to establish a strong aerospace industry, as envisaged by the national Aerospace Blueprint 2016-2030. Component manufacturing is one of the four key Aerospace areas that the Government of Malaysia has identified as being key to driving the growth of the industry and bringing social wellbeing to the country, under the Economic Transformation Programme.
The Trent 1000 powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the engine has reached over a million flying hours since entry into service in October 2011. Rolls-Royce powered the very first Boeing 787 test flight in December 2009; the first 787-8 to enter service in October 2011, with All Nippon Airlines of Japan; and the first 787-9 to enter service, in 2014 with Air New Zealand. In the last five years the Trent 1000 has been selected in more than 60 per cent of engine competitions for the aircraft.
“The UMW team, as you can imagine, is greatly excited by the enormous prospects that this project offers. It heralds an exciting new chapter for the UMW Group. Our relationship with Rolls-Royce will commence with a 25 year contract to manufacture fan cases for Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 aero engines. The UMW Group’s prime intention would be to establish Malaysia as a formidable aerospace engine parts manufacturing force in the region”, said Tan Sri Asmat bin Kamaludin, UMW Holdings Berhad Group Chairman.
Tony Wood, Rolls-Royce, President – Aerospace said: “Rolls-Royce has embarked upon a multi-year transformation of our industrial base, creating a world-class, competitive global supply chain. With its commitment to creating a successful Aerospace industry, Malaysia was an ideal country in which to look for manufacturing partners. We are pleased to welcome UMW as a new supply chain partner and look forward to a long and successful relationship with them.”
To ensure the success of this project, it is imperative to have a highly-skilled work force. Hence, UMW and MARA will come together for the establishment of an apprentice training centre. The centre will ensure availability of specific technical skillsets in aerospace hard metal machining. It will also act as a training platform for machining of hard metals prior to the launch of the manufacturing plant.
“MARA is keen to partner with UMW for the establishment of an apprentice training centre, which will include a pre-production facility that meets Rolls-Royce’s specifications. Through our subsidiary company, MARA Aerospace and Technologies Sdn. Bhd. (M-AeroTech), we will utilise German Malaysian Institute’s capabilities in production technology to ramp up the capability to manufacture fan case. This project marks another milestone for Asia Aerospace City’s human capital offering, ensuring business sustainability for investors to our very own aerospace hub in South East Asia”, said Datuk Ibrahim Ahmad, Director General of MARA on the contract between UMW and Rolls-Royce.