Titanium success

Russian titanium producer VSMPO-AVISMA working to increase share of value-added products

Russian titanium producer VSMPO-AVISMA working to increase share of value-added products

Russia’s VSMPO-AVISMA Corporation, the world’s largest titanium producer, is successfully increasing the share of machining in its output both within its own projects and jointly with partners. The company’s close ties with the international aerospace industry allow it to plan further production growth.

VSMPO-AVISMA and Alcoa Samara, the Russian subsidiary of US manufacturer Alcoa, opened a joint venture in early September. Located in Samara, AlTi Forge will produce large titanium and aluminum forgings to be used in subsequent manufacture of aircraft landing gear beams and wing pylons.

The Russian titanium company sees its strategic goal in increasing the share of value-added processing in overall production volumes. The company’s machining shop increased the output of die-forgings by more than 50% in 2015; in five years from now, 40% of all ­VSMPO-AVISMA produce is expected to come in the form of die-forgings.

By investing in its production capacity and increasing the share of value-added products VSMPO-AVISMA managed to demonstrate solid financial results in Q1 2016; this positive trend is expected to continue. The company’s sales structure changed this year, with less products sold on the Russian market and a greater share of export deliveries. The latter has fully compensated the losses incurred on the domestic market thanks to the weak ruble. VSMPO-AVISMA expects to keep this year’s output of titanium products at the 2015 level of 28,000 to 29,000 t. By 2020, the corporation plans to bring annual titanium production up to 40,000 tons.

One of the company’s largest and most significant investment projects is to set up a die-forging machining facility for Titanium Valley, a special economic zone in Russia’s Sverdlovsk Region. The project was launched in 2014; VSMPO-AVISMA is currently the most active of Titanium Valley’s 11 residents.

VSMPO-AVISMA plans to bring annual titanium production to 40,000 tons by 2020

The Titanium Valley facility, known as VSMPO-New Technologies, will be responsible for initial and final machining of die-forgings for new aircraft types. The production building has already been erected; the company invested over 1.6 billion rubles ($25.4 million at the current exchange rate) in its construction. The facility is expected to be launched in 2018 with around 100 highly qualified engineering personnel.

VSMPO-AVISMA is closely involved with the global aerospace industry, acting as the main strategic supplier of titanium products for a multitude of manufacturers. In 2015, about 60% of all its titanium produce was exported. Of the total amount of exported products, 46% went to the US, 41% to Europe, 7% to countries in North and South Americas, and 5% to the Middle East and Southeast Asia, including Israel, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan.

The Russian company is a long-standing partner of the Chinese aerospace industry. Since 2004, it has been supplying China Aviation Supplies Imp. & Exp. Corporation (CASC) with titanium billets used in the manufacture of die-forgings for Airbus programs. The company’s cooperation with AVIC International Holding Corporation, one of China’s largest aerospace manufacturers, spans over 10 years.

VSMPO-AVISMA acts as a supplier for China’s flagship commercial aviation program of the C919 medium-haul jetliner. Under the agreement with the aircraft designer, Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), VSMPO-AVISMA will be supplying 12 different die-forging types through to 2021. The company is already tooling up for the task. Certification of the Chinese die-forgings is expected to be completed in 2017. The company will supply China with more than 20 different die-forging types to be used in the manufacture of aircraft wings, empennage, and pylons.

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