Page 1

Businessexcellence ACHIEVING






ased in Centurion, just to the south of Pretoria, Aerosud is one of South Africa’s leading providers of systems to the international aerospace industry. From laser warning systems for fighter jets to seat partitions for business-class flight accommodation, over the 21 years since its founding the company has established itself as a world-class, quality player in aeronautics. Aerosud specialises in the manufacture of components using vacuum forming, continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastic laminate for the production of lightweight aircraft structures, composite lay-up, which is used in aircraft interiors, and various electrical systems. It also produces around 3,000 parts per day constructed from sheet metal. These components are fabricated using various different methods depending on their application, including high speed tag-less routing, three-axel routing, high speed die-punching and automated part marking. The company also has a heat treatment and surface treatment facility for aluminium alloys, robotic welding and a non-destructive testing (NDT) unit. The business was formed in 1990 by the then key designers of the South African Rooivalk Combat Support Helicopter and the Cheetah fighter programme. Initially, Aerosud was purely focused on supplying to the defence industry: its first major contract involved the re-engining of the Mirage F1 Fighter aircraft with the Klimov RD33 engine, which was at the time being used in the Mig 29 fighter.


Aerosud However, five years after its inception, the company began to diversify its business and moved into the civil aviation market as well. It began designing galleys for passenger aircraft, as well as other interior systems. Today it supplies both the titans of the commercial aeroplane market, Airbus and Boeing. By 2000, the organisation was ripe for expansion. It moved premises to its current location in Centurion and now manufactures approximately 2,000 parts and assemblies a day. As well as Airbus and Boeing, it is also a supplier to BAE Systems, Augusta Westland Helicopters and Spirit AeroSystems. In 2005, Aerosud became a development partner in the Airbus A400M programme after the South African government announced the

Interturbine Aviation Logistics GmbH Interturbine Aviation Logistics is recognized around the world as an approved supplier of CES material such as standard hardware, raw and semi-finished metal products and materials, consumables, chemicals and composites to the aerospace industry, MROs and airlines; consolidating more than 500,000 part numbers or specifications from over 3,000 sources. Interturbine Aviation Logistics’ innovative material service concept provides a one stop source for immediate supply on call; supplying aerospace manufacturers, maintenance centres, airlines and high-tech industries alike. The international supply network—headquartered in Germany—includes distribution centres, contact offices and representatives all over the world.

In 2005, Aerosud became a development partner in the Airbus A400M programme purchase of eight of the aeroplanes in April that year. The craft, also known as the Atlas, is a military plane designed as a tactical airlifter, meaning it will deliver supplies to troops within the theatre of war. Aerosud has been responsible for the design and development of a number of components for the cockpit and the cargo area, as well as structural parts of the wing. The craft took its maiden flight in July this year, with delivery to clients expected in 2013. Aerosud would not be able to maintain its international standing and reputation for quality were it not for the emphasis it puts on training. All its non-destructive testing technicians have obtained French National Aerospace NDT Board (Cosac) qualifications— an internationally recognised standard of excellence. Even when there is no other capital investment taking place within the company,

Aerosud it is committed to continuously investing in the skills and development of its employees. Additionally, the business as a whole is ISO9001 certified and approved by the British Institute of NDT and conforms to the British PCN Scheme standards. In late September this year, the company unveiled its newest project, which it has produced in collaboration with defence systems supplier Paramount Group. The Advanced HighPerformance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft, or AHRLAC, is a 100 per cent South African designed and developed craft, and unique in its field anywhere in the world. The craft is designed to be a more cost effective alternative to unmanned aerial vehicles, or ‘drones’, with the managing director of Aerosud, Dr Paul Potgieter,

The AHRLAC is being marketed primarily as a military aircraft, with spaces for the attachment of various weapons. However, Potgieter has said that it is also suitable for civilian situations and that there has been a great deal of interest already from a number of potential purchasers. Recent announcements at the Dubai Airshow on 16th November will also benefit Aerosud— such as the Airbus announcement that it has $20.5 billion in orders and commitments in the pipeline. The combined orders and commitments include 336 models from the A320 range, for which Aerosud makes wing and fuselage components. The news from Airbus follows an announcement in October by Boeing that it is considering sourcing more items from the company. Aerosud

For the future, the company is seeking to pursue organic growth, rather than growth through acquisition telling Engineering News that it is expected to fall into the sub-$10 million price category. This is a particular advantage in peacekeeping operations, such as those undertaken by the African Union and United Nations in Africa, where budgets are more constrained. The craft is also highly manoeuvrable, which enables it to take off from short or unprepared airstrips. AHRLAC is an exciting project, not just because of its uniqueness, but also because it echoes Aerosud’s heritage—the last manned aircraft designed in South Africa was the Rooivalk attack helicopter. The company is well into the testing phase of the design and production process: wind tunnel testing has been completed and a quarter-scale model has already undertaken 80 test flights. A prototype is expected to fly next year and production is scheduled to begin in 2013.

has formed a key part of Boeing’s supply chain for the past 10 years and in 2006, the two businesses entered into a strategic partnership deal. So far, Aerosud has delivered between 60,000 and 80,000 components per year to the American aircraft manufacturer, with that number set to rise significantly with any new supply agreement between the two. For the future, the company is seeking to pursue organic growth, rather than growth through acquisition. Programme director Rob Jonkers has said that a number of projects that it currently has in the pipeline could create the opportunity to increase the workforce and supply additional employment in the area. What is certain is that for this specialist South African manufacturer with some of the most prestigious international connections, the only way is up. BE


Aerosud - Corporate Brochure  

Business Excellence. Aerosud - Corporate Brochure.