FAIRCHILD FASTENERS, the California-based aerospace precision-fastener specialist, hopes to reach final agreement later this month with Taiwan-based King Grand to develop a new joint manufacturing, sales and distribution site near Taipei.

Fairchild believes that the move could lead to full fastener-manufacturing capability in Asia in 1997. "We want to be the first company that has approval from key US original-equipment manufacturers to have fasteners made overseas," says international business-development vice-president Neal Bennett.

The move is designed to take advantage not only of the growing number of Asian aerospace projects and growing Asian participation in Western airframes, but also to benefit from the lower manufacturing costs of the region. "We are also still in contact with AVIC of China, and we eventually intend to make them partners in a venture in China. That's our vision," adds Bennett.

King Grand is a Taiwanese venture-capital company, which was "instrumental" in supporting and setting up the fledgling semiconductor manufacturing industry on the island. It subsequently became involved in aerospace, however, and was brought into contact with Fairchild through Lockheed Martin, which was working to satisfy offset agreements linked to the Taiwan F-16 programme.

Source: Flight International