UMW delivers 1st fan case for Rolls-Royce Trent 1,000 engine

UMW Aerospace becomes the 1st local company to be awarded the Tier-1 Rolls-Royce supplier

By RAHIMI YUNUS / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

UMW Holdings Bhd plans to transform its manufacturing and engineering (M&E) division into high-value manufacturing (HVM) after delivering the first fan case to be installed in a Rolls- Royce Trent 1,000 engine.

The 1,000kg Titanium fan case, the first to be delivered by UMW’s unit, UMW Aerospace Sdn Bhd, was shipped to the final assembly plant in Seletar Aerospace Park, Singapore. The fan case for the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine is expected to be fitted in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

UMW Aerospace becomes the first local company to be awarded the Tier-1 Rolls-Royce supplier.

The production of the Titanium fan case at UMW’s new plant in Serendah, Selangor, marked a key milestone for the conglomerate as it sought to shift to HVM.

“The division has been manufacturing high-volume products like lubricants and auto parts. This is our first foray into HVM. From producing components used on the roads to things for flying,” the group’s M&E president Megat Shahrul Azmir said.

Megat Shahrul said the division is undergoing a transformation from the high-mix and high-volume products to low-mix, low-volume but high-value and strictly regulated components like airplane components.

Rolls-Royce Trent 1,000

(From left) Malaysian Investment Development Authority CEO Datuk Azman Mahmud, Bhangu, UMW president/group CEO Badrul Feisal Abdul Rahim, Hamad Kama Piah and Ahmad looking at the maiden fan case for Rolls-Royce Trent 1,000 at the UMW Aerospace plant in Serendah yesterday (Pic by Muhd Amin Naharul/TMR)

“The skills and expertise that we have now can be used to make other parts of the engine including turbines, compressors and combustors.

“On the outside, the aeroplane itself has a lot more hard metal titanium content,” he said.

He said the new manufacturing plant is also technically able to venture into HVM in other sectors like micro-electronics, healthcare and power generation.

The 4.5-acre (1.82ha) built-up manufacturing compound sits on a 30-acre site and currently houses 119 employees with a maximum capacity of 166 staff.

The construction of the plant followed a 25+5-year agreement inked between UMW Aerospace and Roll-Royce on August 12, 2015, to manufacture and assemble Trent 1,000 and Trent 7,000 engine fan cases.

Megat Shahrul said the full-transfer programme between UMW Aerospace and Rolls-Royce initially involved 20 pioneering staff.

Total capital investment for the plant was RM750 million. It is now the third such facility after the UK and Italy.

The plant is expected to deliver six more fan cases by year-end. The company expects to deliver a total of 80

cases next year and with the production capacity of 250 fan cases by 2020. The company will also start to produce the fan cases for Trent 7,000 engine.

Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Ahmad Maslan said the maiden delivery of the fan case marked the entry of local companies adopting Industry 4.0.

“The production plant implements a lot of Industry 4.0 technologies. It’s important to bring it to the mainstream,” Ahmad said.

Also present were UMW group chairman Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah Che Othman and Rolls-Royce regional director for South-East Asia, Pacific and South Korea Dr Bicky Bhangu.