a second Tata Steel aerospace service centre in China will process speciality steels made at Aldwarke in Rotherham.
The product will then be taken up by aerospace component manufacturers in the region around the city of Xi’an. The new facility in Xi’an complements Tata’s existing operation in Suzhou that opened in 2009, and aims to serve the growing demand for aerospace materials in the region.
It will serve a growing aerospace manufacturing base in the region, which already accounts for 40 per cent of the total aerospace manufacturing capacity in China.
The demand for aerospace material is primarily driven by the supply chains for the Chinese state-owned aerospace companies COMAC and AVIC, but also includes an increasing number of collaborations and joint ventures between existing Tata Steel customers, such as Safran, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, Rolls-Royce, Moog, Goodrich and Liebherr, and state-owned companies that feed into these.
At the opening ceremony, Mark Broxholme, Managing Director of Tata Steel’s speciality steels business, said: “Following on from the development of our successful operation in Suzhou, this facility not only allows us to continue to serve our existing customer base as they develop and grow in Xi’an, but also allows us to forge new relationships with the expanding Chinese-owned aerospace manufacturing base.”
Zebin Jiang, General Manager of both the Tata Steel aerospace service centres in China, added: “Over 30 per cent of our existing despatches from Suzhou come to the Xi’an aerospace industry. Getting ourselves established here allows us to grow hand-in-hand with our customers and partners in China.
“From our experience at Suzhou we know that the local supply chains will benefit from our proven ability to supply our own aerospace steels, as well as bought-in non-ferrous material, on a just-in-time basis with the right certification and the high levels of traceability demanded by aerospace companies.”