VSMPO-AVISMA, Russia’s leading manufacturer of aeronautical titanium, continues with its efforts to increase the output of highly refined products. The company has been developing joint projects with leading international aircraft manufacturers. It is promoting its long-standing cooperation with Boeing to a new level. A similar project is to be launched with Airbus shortly.
Construction of the new production facility for the company’s new joint venture, Ural Boeing Manufacturing (UBM), is nearing completion, VSMPO-AVISMA representatives told Russian Aviation Insider.
The new facility’s production and administrative buildings will be completed this summer, with the volume of investment required for the project standing at 1.77 billion rubles ($207 million). The company will have state-of-the-art metal-cutting equipment.
The facility, to be known as UBM-2, will process molded titanium parts for all of Boeing’s civil aircraft programs, including the 787 family and the new 737 MAX and 777x types. The Russian corporation will enhance the processing depth and improve its technologies to supply Boeing with products maximally close to the dimensions of the final parts.
“These new types of aircraft require more titanium, so we are having more work to do,” the VSMPO-AVISMA representative noted.
A similar project is to be implemented jointly with Airbus. VSMPO-AVISMA has been discussing a machine-processing JV with the European manufacturer’s supplier Figeac Aero. “We will maintain a parity of shares with our partners in the JV,” the VSMPO-AVISMA source said. “A new production facility in the Titanium Valley special economic zone (in Sverdlovsk Region, Russia – ed.) is one of the ways to develop the joint venture, but in the first phase we are planning to use our existing capacities.”
The new plant is expected to become operational in 2019 or 2020; the partners are now actively searching for additional orders and preparing for production launch.
VSMPO-AVISMA reported a record increase in the output of deeply processed products in 2015. The machine processing workshop saw its output grow in excess of 50% that year. In 2016, the volume of molded parts output by the corporation climbed 3%. “In the future we are planning for molded parts to make up more than 40% of our total output,” the company representative commented.
The launch of AlTi Forge, a joint venture between VSMPO-AVISMA and Arconic SMZ (formerly known as Alcoa SMZ), came as a major 2016 milestone for the Russian corporation. Arconic is a subsidiary of US aluminum giant Alcoa.
The companies combined their unique and complementing competencies in producing large molded parts, and have already begun manufacturing their first joint titanium and aluminum alloy products, including landing gear and wing parts for international aerospace manufacturers.
The Russian corporation has been actively diversifying production and expanding its product portfolio over the recent years. The primary focus has been on hi-tech products based on value-added titanium alloys, including a large variety of molded parts, thin sheets and tubes.
VSMPO-AVISMA is now offering over 400 types of molded parts on the international market and more than 1,500 types of molded parts on the Russian market; the figures keep growing as the corporation embraces new aviation programs. “The aviation market is stable and optimistic today, especially when it comes to the industry giants,” the company source stresses. “We have long-term contracts with such companies, and this is certainly the main market for us.”
By Maxim Pyadushkin
Russian Aviation Insider
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