Airbus and its parent company EADS have signed a procurement frame contract with Southwest Aluminium (Group) Co., Ltd. (SWA), one of the largest aluminium product producers in China, for the manufacture and supply of aluminium plate.
EADS’ sourcing strategy aims to develop a truly global supply chain that will enable the Group to create a more competitive cost base and provide natural hedging while gaining access to strategic markets in Asia. To drive this business transformation, EADS’ Global Sourcing Network supports Airbus to identify new potential partners around the world that can meet its quality standards and optimize its existing industrial assets.
Today, aluminium is of utmost importance in the production of airplanes as it is used in many different parts of an aircraft such as fuselage panels and frames, floor beams, and wing spars/ribs. SWA’s aluminium products will initially supply both Airbus’ single-aisle and long-range families, and the contract could be extended to other programmes in the future.
A ceremony was held in Beijing on 9th March to celebrate the signing of the contract. The contract was signed by Klaus Richter, Airbus Executive Vice President Procurement, Eric Zanin, Airbus Senior Vice President and Head of Materials and Detail Parts Procurement, Li Fengyi, Chief Executive Officer of SWA, and Yinxiaohui, Chief Engineer of SWA on 16th February 2011. Antoine Gaugler Director EADS China Sourcing Office and Li Fengyi, Chief Executive Officer of SWA, were present at the ceremony on the 9th March.
“We are proud to become a certified supplier to EADS and Airbus. We are confident that we will deliver the products with high quality and at competitive prices” said Li Fengyi, CEO of SWA.
“The contract creates a win-win situation for all parties, as EADS and Airbus move a further step forward to sourcing new qualified suppliers in emerging regions while SWA becomes a supplier of the leading aircraft manufacturer,” said Antoine Gaugler. “In addition, Airbus will increase its efficiency as the aluminium needed by partners in China will be sourced directly from China instead of being shipped from western suppliers,” he added.
Over the years, China has become a strategic partner of Airbus. Today, different Chinese manufacturers are involved in manufacturing parts for Airbus aircraft. All types of Airbus commercial aircraft (from the A320 Family to the A380) have components produced in China. Via four major joint-ventures with Chinese aeronautical partners, Airbus has also forged a solid service and industrial footprint in China that provides dedicated services for its Chinese customers and supports Airbus’ worldwide supply chain. Those include a training and support centre, an engineering centre, the first Airbus Final Assembly Line outside of Europe producing A320 Family aircraft and a Manufacturing Centre dedicated to composite material components. Airbus has also chosen China as one of its partners in the A350 XWB programme and allocated five per cent of the A350 XWB airframe to be manufactured in China. The total value of industrial cooperation between Airbus and the Chinese aviation industry reached 206 million US dollars in 2010 and is expected to be close to half a billion US dollars per year in 2015.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2010, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 45.8 billion and employed a workforce of nearly 122,000.