Building up Aerospace Manufacturing Industry

By Editor 14-Jun-2018

LMW directly entered the Aerospace segment in 2010 with the Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) evolving it into a full spectrum mechanical systems solution provider to the Aerospace industry. LMW Group and its sister concerns have been pro-actively investing in building up the aerospace manufacturing industry. We intend to mature in our aerospace manufacturing culture thereby becoming a reliable supplier of qualified systems and assemblies that will support the aerospace industry. Particularly, we are looking forward to growth in our contributions in manufacture of mechanical, composites and hybrid parts and assemblies in this sector. We are poised to double our output in each of the next two years, says Soundhar Rajhan K, Director – Operations, LMW. He speaks about LMW’s operations and future plans in aerospace segment.

1. With decades-long expertise in machine manufacturing, LMW has forayed into aerospace and defence sectors. What role could LMW play in catering to the requirements of Indian defence and aerospace industry?

LMW has a rich and proven legacy of manufacture of precision mechanical system for state of art Textile machines, Multi Axis CNC Machine Tools and their up-stream manufacturing facilities including the Foundry Division.

The promoters of LMW steered their sister concern Lakshmi Technology and Engineering Industries Limited (LTE) into Aerospace segment in the year 2004 for indigenous manufacture of electro-mechanical parts.

LMW directly entered the Aerospace segment in 2010 with the Advanced Technology Centre (ATC) evolving it into a full spectrum mechanical systems solution provider to the Aerospace industry. In terms of infrastructure and capability, ATC has world class manufacturing facilities and its Quality Assurance standards are aligned to AS9100 D certification and NADCAP for special process viz Chemical Process, NDT, Welding and Heat treatment totalling more than 25 special processes.

ATC will soon commission its integral Aerospace Composite Division (ACD) to produce composite products for the needs of aerospace structures and systems.

ATC and LTE shall enlarge their collaboration with DRDO, ISRO and indigenous Aerospace industry majors to meet the manufacturing capability and capacity challenges arising due to the rapidly emerging indigenous defence and space systems as well as the demands of the civil aerospace sector.

2. Could you talk about various products by LMW in the aerospace and defence sector? Also, please talk about major clients and collaborations.

LTE manufactures a variety of indigenous DC Torque Motors, Actuators, Pressure sensors, Control Valves and Solenoids for aerospace application.

ATC is manufacturing Aero structure Components like Wing, Panels, Brackets, Stiffeners, Ribs, fuselage, Frames including assemblies and sub-assemblies as well as Dome assembly for AWACS  and integration with aircraft. The items manufactured for Helicopters include Tail Boom, A Frame and structural parts.

The Aero engine Components of Casing, Shaft, Housing, NGV, Turbine Blades, Impellers, and Compressor Discs including assemblies and sub-assemblies are being supplied to international Aero engine manufacturers including DRDO and Indian majors.

The Sheet Metal fabrication capability of ATC addresses structural components, seal segment, rings, heat shield and cover plate. The comprehensive facility for Special Processes at ATC enables delivery of parts ready for production assembly.

All major Indian aerospace industries in public and private sector are the esteemed customers of ATC.

3. The central government has decided to create a new defence corridor in Tamil    Nadu with an aim of boosting defence production and make the state a      defence manufacturing hub. How does LMW plan to leverage this opportunity?

Defence Quad (Corridor) connecting Chennai- Tiruchirappalli- Coimbatore- Salem- Hosur – Bengaluru has been announced by the Government. In this Quad particularly Coimbatore needs to be developed as a major hub. The proposed Defence Quad spanning road distance of nearly 1260Kms covers one of the most industrialized zones of this region. This Quad is well connected by train and road as also by air.

Coimbatore has always been an entrepreneur friendly city. The industries at Coimbatore have consistently deployed most modern machines and technology with matching skilled human resources. Hence the quality of the product sourced from this region is high meeting exacting demands of Aerospace, defence and Precision Engineering sectors.

Engineering industries have developed in this region because of the sustainable eco-system prevalent. The Engineering Colleges, Poly Techniques and the Apprentice training institutions in his region are known for their innovative systems of teaching and quality of deployable industrial training. Active Industry associations have invested in technology and skill development significantly.

The fountainhead of Precision engineering and Machine Tools for enabling engineering enterprises across the country is at Coimbatore.

Coimbatore can support Clusters for Aerospace Industry, Precision Engineering Industry and Technical Textiles industry. In this environment, the indigenous defence industrial base can immediately leverage the potential of the Coimbatore hub as there are major Defence Public Sector Units – HAL, BEL, BEML –  in this region which need to augment their capacity for production. Coimbatore has potential to boost their capacity by providing qualified systems and sub-systems for final integration on a cluster sourcing approach. Particularly, HAL can leverage the geographical advantage by supporting an Aerospace Industry cluster connecting Bengaluru and Coimbatore for qualified systems and sub-systems for ALH, LCA etc., in which LMW can also play its role.

4. The government calls for Strategic Partnerships in defence production to support Make in India programme. What are the various initiatives by LMW in this respect?

The Strategic Partnership (SP) is a long term relationship between the MoD and the chosen Indian Strategic Partners on a Platform basis.  The long term Strategic Partners will have to set up their tiered supply chain network on a similar strategic relationship for sourcing and be a system of systems integrator for the Strategic Segments. LMW will join the tiered supply chains of chosen SPs appropriately as the realisation of the Strategic Partnership model matures.

5. What is the future roadmap for LMW’s aerospace and defence divisions? Could you talk about the expansion plan in terms of investment, infrastructure etc?

As enunciated earlier, LMW Group and its sister concerns have been pro-actively investing in building up the aerospace manufacturing industry. As of now significant investments on manufacture of Composites are being made. The future expansion will be evolutionary based on the traction the Government announced Defence industrial corridor gets in the near future. LMW will continue to be optimistic about capex and future new investments in this arena.

6. Could you shed more fight onto the operations of LMW’s Machine Tool Division?

LMW’s Machine Tools Division (MTD) has the rich history of technical collaboration with world leaders in design and manufacture of precision machine tools. While the MTD manufactured Machine Tools are the favorites of Indian manufacturers, we have considerably fulfilled the manufacturing needs of Indian Ordnance Factories. Our LH 55 (Horizontal Machining Center), Rigi15 S (Turning Center) & LL 20 TM L5 (Turnmill Center), JV 55 & 65 (Vertical Machining Center), LH45 S (Horizontal Machining Center) are deployed at different Ordnance Factories for manufacturing critical systems for the defence. We have the capability to engineer a complete production line to meet the needs of manufacturing with quality, precision and speed. The R&D of MTD is constantly innovating to place indigenous multi-Axis Machine Tools for general and custom purposes as a pragmatic choice for defence and precision manufacturers in India and abroad.

7. Please share with us your vision and priorities for LMW. What are the major objectives to be achieved in the coming years?

We intend to mature in our aerospace manufacturing culture thereby becoming a reliable supplier of qualified systems and assemblies that will support the aerospace industry. Particularly, we are looking forward to growth in our contributions in manufacture of mechanical, composites and hybrid parts and assemblies in this sector. We are poised to double our output in each of the next two years.