Hanwha Aerospace - A Trusted Partner of the World’s Top Aircraft Engine Manufacturers
Hanwha Aerospace provides engine components and modules for the three major global aircraft engine manufacturers: Pratt & Whitney, General Electric, and Rolls-Royce. Having entered the aircraft engine market in the late 1970s, the company has grown to become a USD 400 million business, with little competition to speak of, and is looking to become the global number one partner for all three major customers.
Developing implicit trust
As part of achieving that goal, Hanwha Aerospace entered into a USD 10 billion revenue sharing partnership (RSP) with Pratt & Whitney in 2015 and 2016. The aerospace industry works in decades-long cycles so an RSP that lasts at least 40 years is a long-term partnership which symbolizes trust.
By entering into this partnership, Hanwha Aerospace was able to greatly diversify its product portfolio, going from manufacturing static engine components to rotative components such as fan blades, fan disks, as well as cutting edge Integrated Bladed Rotors (IBRs), which combine the blade and disk into a single part.
As another sign of the deep trust between Hanwha Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney, the two companies entered into an agreement in 2016 where Hanwha acquired 30% equity interest in a Singaporean Pratt & Whitney plant that specializes in parts and components for PurePower Geared Turbofan engines. This gives Hanwha Aerospace the opportunity to work alongside Pratt & Whitney to develop and manufacture new products and further expand its portfolio.
Focusing on future growth
In 2018, Hanwha Aerospace moved its global headquarters from Seoul to Changwon, South Korea. With this re-location, Hanwha Aerospace HQ now boasts the end-to-end capability to design, custom-build, test, manufacture, and assemble components in a highly automated environment, as well as develop and produce high-value parts and components that require high-precision engineering.
Hanwha Aerospace has set an ambitious goal to double its business every five years and is well on its way to doing just that with its flagship Changwon plant operating at full capacity. To keep up with this growth rate, the company is making investments to expand its R&D and production capabilities in Korea and overseas.
A second full-scale plant in Vietnam is due to begin operations in December of 2018. With the workers at this plant trained up to the same stringent standards as those in Changwon, the Vietnamese plant will be a second base of operations to help Hanwha Aerospace meet customer needs, while also providing a significant competitive edge in regards to pricing.
Interview with Jun Ji, Hanwha Aerospace VP, Commercial Engine Business
Jun Ji holds a model A320neo, one of the many types of aircraft that use engines and
components assembled and manufactured by Hanwha Aerospace
What sort of changes do you see happening in the aircraft engine market?
One huge change that is happening right now is the adoption of alternate materials. Composite materials are used to manufacture fan blades and fan cases to deliver significant weight savings. The industry is also looking into ceramics and how they apply to aircraft engine components.
A lot of attention is also being given to 3D printing at the moment. With 3D printing, powdered material and lasers are used to manufacture components in single pieces, rather than components being assembled from multiple smaller pieces. This would save on weight and labor.
We’re very interested in the potential of 3D printing, but the technology is still in its early stages. For the full rate production of 3D parts, it requires huge investment in set up machines and it takes much more time than traditional manufacturing. We'll have to wait and see how the technology develops.
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