SEPANG: Selangor has the complete ecosystem to help develop the aerospace industry, said its Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari.
He said to help develop the aerospace industry the state has a council that meets yearly to do the required planning for the industry.
“This was one of the reasons the state chose the aerospace industry as part of its cluster for its investment strategy,“ he told the media after launching the country’s first “smart” workshop for the repair of aircraft nose radomes at the Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) hangar.
Amirudin said the workshop which uses smart solutions meets the Smart Selangor 2025 vision and forms part of Industry 4.0.
He pointed out that the workshop was part of the 11th Malaysia Plan and it was fully supported by the government.
He said Airbus who owns SAE has invested heavily not only in Sepang but also in Subang.
“The SAE maintainence, overhaul and repair (MRO) centre here has attracted airlines from countries such as Japan, India, Thailand, Singapore and also leasing companies.”
Airbus is the largest international partner for the Malaysian aerospace sector, with its sourcing and services businesses in the country worth US$400 million (RM1.67 billion) per year for the local economy.
SAE CEO Raymond Lim said it is aiming to service up to 200 radomes this year, from 170-180 radomes last year with the smart radome workshop.
“We have a marginal increase but with the increase in smart radome processes that we put in place, the gaps will go up to about 200 and we will move higher in the years to come.”
The smart radome workshop uses digital and smart technologies, harnessing the data produced by aircraft and maximising automation. It can increase efficiency at SAE and provide more value for customers by reducing aircraft downtime. This is part of several ongoing efforts that Airbus has undertaken in Malaysia that have the potential to transform the MRO sector.
“In terms of Industry 4.0, the human portion of it is still important. We’re not doing away with the human part, but the human is doing higher level activities as far as the maintenance process is concerned,” explained Lim.
SAE specialises in the MRO of com-mercial aircraft, engines and components. It provides support for the growing Airbus A320 family fleets in the Asia Pacific, as well as the region’s ATR turboprop aircraft.
“This is the first step for us to move into smart technologies. Based on the lessons that we’ve learned from the implement-ation of the smart radome, we will then move into other parts of MRO,” said Lim.