In June 2019, Airbus subsidiary, Sepang Aircraft Engineering Sdn Bhd (SAE), opened a smart workshop for the repair of aircraft nose radomes, in Sepang, Selangor. The facility has three inspection rooms, two dedicated paint spray booths, a sanding room, a Clean Room, and a paint curing and repair oven. It is an initiative of the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC), an industry led innovation center to enhance Malaysia’s aerospace industry competitiveness.
The smart workshop is equipped with digital and smart technologies to increase efficiency, maximize automation and reduce aircraft downtime. According to SAE’s CEO Raymond Lim the company is aiming to increase its servicing capacity to 200 radomes with the smart workshop this year, compared to 170 – 180 radomes in 2018.
The undertaking is part of an ongoing efforts by Airbus in Malaysia to transform the MRO sector in Malaysia through the adoption of Industry 4.0, which is in line with the Smart Selangor 2025 vision launched by the state government in late 2016. Airbus employs over 4,000 people in Malaysia, and contributes USD 400 million annually to the local economy through its sourcing and servicing businesses.
A regional MRO company fully owned by Airbus, SAE specializes in the commercial aircraft, engines and components, providing maintenance to the A320 family in Asia Pacific as well as ATR turboprop aircraft in the region. It serves various customers from airlines and leasing companies in the region coming from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India and Japan. Its Customer Service Centre in Sepang caters to aircraft modification and design services. It also owns another major helicopter facility located in Subang. The company plans to move into other parts of MRO business based on the lessons learnt from the implementation of the smart workshop.
(Sources: The Sun Daily; The Borneo Post; Sepang Aircraft Engineering)