Boeing and Hexcel have celebrated a 40 percent factory expansion of their joint venture Aerospace Composites Malaysia to support increased production by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. ACM produces flight surfaces for all of Boeing’s commercial programs, including the Next-Generation 737, 747-8, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliner.
The 17 million dollar investment by Boeing and Hexcel adds 125,000 square feet to a factory footprint that now totals 440,000 square feet, and the project includes a clean-room expansion of 11,000 square feet and installation of RM14 million (5 million USD) in new equipment. With the added capacity, ACM is expected to grow its high-tech manufacturing workforce beyond its current 950 employees, furthering ACM’s position as the region’s leading employer. The added capacity is expected to be partially used to begin production of 787 Fixed Leading Edge Panels in 2014.
John Byrne, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president, Airplane Materials and Structures said;
Boeing and Hexcel are increasing ACM’s capacity as a direct result of its proven high performance and ability to expand its capabilities to support the quality, reliability and affordability of Boeing’s commercial aircraft, Boeing and Malaysia have a long history of collaboration, and ACM is a great example of the mutual benefit earned by growing Malaysia’s high-tech sector and supporting Boeing’s supply chain.
At the ceremony, executives also unveiled a new name for the company, Aerospace Composites Malaysia, formerly Asian Composites Manufacturing. Currently owned by Boeing and Hexcel, ACM was formed in 1998 as a joint venture for composites fabrication and minor parts assembly due to the region’s skilled workforce, Malaysia’s role as a long-term Boeing customer and Malaysia’s vision and efforts to become an aerospace hub in Asia.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes is the end customer for nearly all of ACM’s output. As a direct supplier to Boeing Commercial Airplanes, ACM builds 747-8 Aileron Panels and Spoiler Components and Fixed Leading Edge Panels for the 787 Dreamliner and Next-Generation 737. ACM also directly supports Hexcel by building Fixed Trailing Edge Panels for the Next-Generation 747, 747-8 767 and 777. For Boeing Aerostructures Australia, ACM produces 747 Variable Camber & Krueger Flap Panels and 737 Ailerons. For FACC, ACM builds Fixed Leading Edge Panels for the Next-Generation 737, 767 and 777.