Wednesday, June 21, 2017

India's Aequs Now a Global Aerospace Player

 - June 17, 2017, 11:39AM

Subcontractor for precision machining, sheet metal fabrication, assembly, forging and special processing for OEMs and Tier 1 customers, India’s decade-old Aequs Aerospace (Hall 2b, Stand E170) has been on a consistent and disciplined growth trajectory, especially in the past two years. Global acquisitions have helped the company locate closer to a regional customer base and help complement its technical capabilities across the value chain for mechanical parts, Aravind Melligeri, chairman and CEO of Aequs, told AIN.
Our goal at the 2017 Paris Airshow is to show what we are offering to the world…an ability to deliver value and quality for components of landing gears, actuators and engines parts, including machining capability—[also] including 4D machining,” said Melligeri. 
Headquartered in Belagavi in the southern state of Karnataka close to Goa, Aequs is located on a 250-acre Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with 21 facilities and room to grow. An SEZ is an exclusive customs bonded area created for promoting export-oriented companies, supported by excellent integrated infrastructure. 
Aequs became the first Indian aerospace manufacturing company to expand into North America when in 2015 it acquired Texas-based machined parts and assemblies T&K Machine, now named Aequs Aero Machine. The company produces three-, four- and five-axis detail aerospace components ranging widely in size. The ownership has given Aequs access to T&Ks clients Spirit AeroSystems, UTAS, Boeing, Vought’s Triumph Aerostructures unit and Bell Helicopter.
The acquisition of 100-year old France-based SiRA Group, with a staff of 400, last year further extended the reach of the company’s global aerospace ecosystem, said Melligeri. As a result, Aequs now has an extended customer-base including Dassault, Safran (multiple divisions) and United Technologies Aircraft Systems. The SiRA Group, with expertise in precision machining, assembly and testing of engine, landing gear, aircraft actuation components and welding and fabrication of aircraft assemblies, is complementary to Aequs  Global Aerospace Ecosystem. 
Xavier Dessemond, purchasing vice-president for Safran, commented, “SiRA is a long-time supplier of Safran, developing significant business over the years with most Safran affiliates. With this acquisition, Aequs becomes a key partner of Safran, giving us access to a global industrial footprint, and a strong presence in India.”
Work will be divided. “Indian facilities will do the forgings, and we will complete the machining in France,” said Melligeri. Safran recently approved the Aequs forging factory in India. “This will lead to a 10 percent savings on price,” said Melligeri. With the company having brought in global talent to the Indian facility, machinery will be further ramped up in the next 18 months. Safran has a long association with India, including conducting joint flight trials of the Ardiden 1U turboshaft engine on the Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) Light Utility Helicopter last year.
Melligeri added SiRA had also supplied a significant number of shipsets for Dassault Rafales. “Historically it has been purely a French entity with a French customer-base. Now we will be able to leverage global customers because of our reach.”
Moving forward, Melligeri is going for consolidation, “to digest and stabilize the high growth organically, especially in India.” Multifarious opportunities to expand exist in Trump’s economy and post Brexit, he said. “We need to remember aerospace is a global industry and cannot afford to be insular. [Besides] we can produce in France or the U.S.”

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