The growing role of Abu Dhabi-based Tawazun Precision Industries (TPI) as a supplier of key machined parts for Airbus jetliners is highly visible at the Dubai Airshow, where the company is displaying titanium and aluminium structural components produced for the A330 and A320 aircraft families.
As a subsidiary of Tawazun Holding, TPI is an element of the United Arab Emirates’ strategy to develop its industry and evolve a skilled workforce. TPI’s focus is on engineering and manufacturing, with its Aerospace Business Unit successfully becoming a supplier for some 60 components on Airbus jetliners, and also working with other aerospace companies.
The TPI Aerospace Business Unit’s Airbus programme activity started in 2010 with the manufacture of 1.6-meter-long titanium inboard wing spars on the A330, and it subsequently expanded to production of the jetliner’s titanium outboard spars.
As part of its goal to secure additional Airbus-related work, the company has manufactured a series of developmental titanium ribs for engine pylons on Airbus’ A320neo (new engine option) jetliner, which also are displayed at the Dubai Airshow.
The manufacture of aluminium parts involves forward fuselage frames for both the A330 and A320, including the A330’s 3.84-meter-long Frame 17. Among the aluminium-manufactured parts are Class 1 components, which are critical to an aircraft’s structural airworthiness.
TPI Aerospace Business Unit delivers its finished parts both directly to Airbus and to Airbus’ Aerolia fuselage aerostructures subsidiary for assembly. Aerolia provided support for the shop floor deployment at the Aerospace Business Unit’s facility, and also provided training. This process involved TPI personnel going to Europe, and the assignment of Aerolia staff members to the site – located between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, near the city of Sweihan.
“Aerolia worked with us at Sweihan for two years, assisting the industrialization,” explained Marie-Laure Brice, Key Account Manager at the TPI Aerospace Business Unit. “This phase was completed several months ago, and as a result, we are now ‘flying with our own wings’ on this work package – ready for new opportunities.”
The manufacturing resources at Sweihan currently include five-axis milling machines with the capability to produce titanium components with lengths of up to 2.5 meters and aluminium parts up to five meters long.
In addition to successfully developing its production capability, the TPI Aerospace Business Unit is meeting its goals of creating a skilled workforce. This includes an emphasis on 20 young Emirati graduates, including 12 women operating at different work stations on the company’s shop floor today.