･ New production center for MHI Aero Engines (MHIAEL) to manufacture engine combustors for short and medium range commercial aircraft
･ New factory takes over MHI’s history of manufacturing, and contributes to the revitalization of the Nagasaki area
Tokyo, November 4, 2020 – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has completed construction of a new factory for aircraft engine components at its Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines, Ltd. (MHIAEL), which handles the aero engine business of MHI Group, began operations at the facility in November 2020 as its Nagasaki Plant, and is gradually expanding production. The factory will mainly manufacture engine components for short and medium range commercial aircraft, with further expansion planned to grow as a new facility for the aero engine business once aircraft demand resumes following recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
This new factory, part of the redevelopment of the Nagasaki area, plays a role as a production center that takes over MHI’s history of manufacturing, extending “From the Past – To the Present – To the Future.” The opening ceremony, held at the factory site on November 4, was attended by such distinguished guests as Kenzo Yoneda, Director of the Kyushu Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry, as well as Nagasaki Governor Hodo Nakamura, and Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue. Senior Fellow Kunio Shiiba, Head of Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, represented MHI Group.
The newly completed factory occupies the former site of the Propeller Factory (Ship Propeller Factory) adjacent to the Nagasaki Shipyard Museum (formerly the Pattern Shop), which has been registered as a World Heritage Site. The plant has fully integrated production lines for combustor components, from receiving of raw materials to machining and assembly. To achieve the high degree of precision and quality required for aircraft engine components, MHIAEL is introducing automation and labor-saving technologies such as cutting-edge machine tools, and automated conveyance and tool changing systems. The company is also actively utilizing IoT (Internet of Things), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and other technologies cultivated at its main mother factory to ensure an aircraft engine components factory with world-class productivity and efficiency.
As a result of the closure of borders and restrictions on movement imposed in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, overall demand in the airline industry has declined sharply. However, demand for the types of short and medium range commercial aircraft used mainly on domestic routes is expected to recovery relatively quickly. The Nagasaki Plant is manufacturing combustors for the PW1100G-JM engine that powers the Airbus A320neo, including replacement demand for overhauls. MHI has not made any significant changes to its production plan as a result of the coronavirus crisis, and expects to expand production going forward. The opening of this cutting-edge factory as scheduled will strengthen both in-house manufacturing capabilities and cost competitiveness, as well as establish a structure able to accurately meet the industry’s needs.
MHI Group, despite the coronavirus crisis, is expanding its business and production structure in anticipation of an increase in long-term demand for commercial aircraft engines worldwide. This new factory construction project is a part of this effort. MHI Group is also working to expand its aero engine MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) business, with preparations steadily moving forward to add new engine type to its aero engine MRO services business portfolio at MHIAEL’s head office plant in Aichi Prefecture.
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 aero engines, as well as expand production capabilities, and contribute to the advancement of Japan’s aircraft industry.