Senior plc to boost manufacturing in M’sia

by SHAZNI ONG/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

INTERNATIONAL manufacturer of high-technology components and systems Senior plc plans to increase manufacturing capacity by 140%, following the opening of its new 180,000 sq ft aerospace facility at the Malaysia International Aerospace Centre.

Its group CEO David Squires (pic) said the company has come up with the plan as the second facility that complements the Senior Aerospace UPECA’s existing facility in Shah Alam, which currently manufactures almost 60,000 pieces per month.

The latter’s plant produces structural components for various parts of either the Airbus or Boeing aircraft, as well as platforms like wings and fuselage.

“Eventually, there will be at least more than 100,000 parts to be delivered from both facilities. This will increase the capacity by one and a half times or 140%.

“If it’s 50,000 or 60,000 today, the capacity will be more than double,” he told reporters after launching the Senior Aerospace facility in Subang, Selangor yesterday.

Squires added that the new facility is expected to produce 11,000 types of individual components and parts from both facilities that would be supplied
to the Boeing and Airbus aircraft.

“Every time you build a factory, you make improvements. The big improvement in this facility is to cater for much larger parts than we previously able to manufacture here in Malaysia.

Our existing facility can make parts of up to about two metres long.

“In this facility, we have designed all the equipment and the special processes to cope with parts up to four metres long. That means we can offer customers a much wider variety of capabilities and we are able to make larger parts for the aircraft,” he said.

Squires also said the time taken to manufacture would be between four and 10 weeks. That could be longer if it includes the supply chain from outside depending on the complexity of the parts, he added.

Squires said the company is expected to create between 300 and 350 jobs in this new factory.

The UK-based company has also allocated RM50 million for the second facility and is expected to pump in additional investment, moving forward.

“The investment highlights Senior’s commitment to the long-term success of its customers, suppliers and employees in Asia.

“With the ease of doing business, critical infrastructure and access to a pool of welleducated and qualified labour force, Malaysia offers a business- friendly and cost competitive environment.

“This facility will further enhance our capabilities in Kuala Lumpur and specifically support the growth associated with our contract wins in the civil aerospace sector. With the current jobs secured, they could keep us busy at least for the next five years,” Squires said.

Meanwhile, Senior Aerospace CEO Kavan Jeet Singh said the facility is expected to be operational soon once the engineering development is completed.

“The civil aerospace market has grown 4% per annum ever since the jumbo jets were launched in the early 70s. More recently, it’s been growing between 6% and 8% every year. This year is no exception.

“It is an unprecedented time in the aerospace industry, in terms of the number of new aircraft. There will be many of those platforms here. The new
B737, A320 and A350 are three examples of that.

“So it is a very buoyant year for the aerospace industry and we are very pleased to be a part of it,” he said.