Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines, Ltd. (MHIAEL), a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), has completed expansion work at its aero engine maintenance shop in Komaki City, Aichi Prefecture, to respond to globally expanding demand for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services. The expanded facility is expected to increase its commercial engine MRO capacity from 5 to 6 units per month to more than 10 units per month by 2026, then ultimately reaching 15 units per month. The expansion work added floor area of 2,500m2 in addition to the pre-existing floor area of approximately 11,600m2, resulting in 20% increase of a workspace.In addition to the ongoing MRO business for PW4000 and V2500 engine models respectively powering Boeing B747 and Airbus A320 aircrafts, the expanded shop will also perform MRO for the best-selling state-of-the-art PW1100G-JM powering the Airbus A320neo family aircrafts.
The facility expansion also introduces a highly efficient layout to the shop floor.The pre-existing area is now dedicated to all manually performed processes (engine disassembly, assembly, inspection, etc.), while the newly added workspace is used for the large-scale equipment for balancing, grinding, etc., as well as parts kitting process.The facility is expected to achieve capacity of 15 units per month in this new, optimized shop floor.
MHIAEL’s history of aero engine MRO business dates back to 1993 when it started services for PW4000 engine and its modules.To date, MHIAEL accumulates experience to provide service for more than 900 units.Given the incremental increase of production rate of Airbus A320neo family, it is anticipated that number of PW1100G-JM and the MRO demands associated thereto will be doubled in next few years.
MHIAEL ensures to deliver high-quality products for the increasing demands through its robust systems to manage quality and workforce.Adding to those systems, MHIAEL works on MRO technology development as well as introducing Smart Factory.Also, besides the MRO business, MHIAEL continues business of aero engine components manufacturing expanding its capability at two manufacturing facilities in Komaki and Nagasaki.
MHI Group, in anticipation of increased demand for commercial aero engines worldwide through the long term, is expanding its related business and production structures, and expansion of MHIAEL’s Komaki facility is part of this initiative. Going forward, MHI will work in close cooperation with MHIAEL to enhance its technological capabilities and reliability in aero engine development, manufacture and after-sales servicing, to contribute to the advancement of Japan’s aircraft industry.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has decided to expand Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines, Ltd. (MHIAEL) Nagasaki Plant, an aircraft engine component factory located in MHI’s Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works. Demand for engine components for short and medium range commercial aircraft manufactured at this plant is expected to increase further in the near future. The expansion will further strengthen its in-house production capacity and cost competitiveness and put in place a structure that will allow MHIAEL to meet industry needs readily and accurately once growth resumes in the post-Covid era. The expansion is scheduled for completion in March 2024.
Image of expanded MHIAEL Nagasaki Plant
The existing production plant manufactures combustors for the PW1100G-JM engines which powers the Airbus A320neo family. Since the start of its operations in November 2020, production has gradually increased and currently all production lines are operating near the planned capacity. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused sharp demand decrease in the aviation industry, however business relating to short and medium range commercial aircrafts used on domestic routes has been seeing a quick recovery. Aircraft flying hours of the Airbus A320neo family has already exceeded its pre-Covid level.
Airbus plans to gradually increase production of the A320neo in response to robust demand for narrow-body aircraft. Concurrently, demand for combustor components for the PW1100G-JM engines, as well as after-sales service, is expected to double over the next several years. This additional round of investment to build a second facility adjacent to the existing factory will nearly double the size of the plant, to around 11,000m2 from the current level of 5,400m2. In addition, the new facility will allow MHIAEL to incorporate certain manufacturing processes currently contracted out to overseas suppliers to achieve a fully integrated manufacturing for combustors, as well as reinforce its manufacturing facilities to support significant production ramp-up.
The MHIAEL Nagasaki Plant is a factory specialized in manufacturing combustors, which is one of core components of an aircraft engine, and the first full-fledged aircraft component factory in the Kyushu region. The plant has production lines which can handle fully integrated operations, from receipt of materials to machining and assembly. To achieve the high degree of precision and quality required for aircraft engine components, MHIAEL has introduced automation and labor-saving technologies such as cutting-edge machine tools, and automated conveyance and tool changing systems. The company also applies and utilizes IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and other technologies cultivated at its main mother factory in Komaki, Aichi Prefecture, to ensure an aircraft engine components factory with world-class levels of productivity and efficiency.
MHI Group, in anticipation of an increase in long-term demand for commercial aircraft engines worldwide, is expanding its business and production structure for aircraft engines, and this factory expansion plan is a part of such effort. The group is also actively working to bolster its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business for commercial aircraft engines and is steadily progressing to expand its MRO business portfolio at MHIAEL’s main site in Komaki.
Going forward, MHI will work in close cooperation with MHIAEL to enhance technological capabilities and reliability for the development, manufacture, and after-sales service of aircraft engines, as well as expand production capabilities, and contribute to the advancement of Japan’s aircraft industry.
About MHI Group
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group is one of the world’s leading industrial groups, spanning energy, logistics & infrastructure, industrial machinery, aerospace and defense. MHI Group combines cutting-edge technology with deep experience to deliver innovative, integrated solutions that help to realize a carbon neutral world, improve the quality of life and ensure a safer world. For more information, please visit www.mhi.com or follow our insights and stories on spectra.mhi.com.