Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines (MHIAEL) sees a twin path for growth, as it contributes high value parts to major engine programmes, and looks to expand its MRO operations.
In a recent interview, MHIAEL president and chief executive Katsuyuki Shimauchi painted an upbeat outlook for the company, which is part of MHI’s Power Systems Division. MHI’s other two big divisions are Industry & Infrastructure as well as Aircraft, Defense and Space.
MHIAEL’s sister units in Power Systems are involved with capital intensive areas such as thermal power plants, nuclear reactors, marine machinery, gas turbines, and renewable energy.
With 530 employees and revenues of $760 million in its last fiscal year, MHIAEL is 89% owned by MHI. The other shareholders are the Development Bank of Japan with a 10% stake, and Japanese engine maker IHI with 1%.
“IHI is much bigger,” says Shimauchi. “We have a very good relationship with them. Since they are a shareholder, we have very good discussions with them.”
MHIAEL has built an impressive portfolio of work share on high profile engine programmes. Although it makes several components, MHIAEL is particularly strong in combustion chambers.
It makes this vital component for engines such as the IAE V2500, as well as Pratt & Whitney engines such as the PW4000, PW1100 and PW1200. In addition, it produces the combustion chamber for Rolls-Royce programmes such as the Trent 1000 and Trent XWB, and the combustion module for the Trent 7000.
Shimauchi says that the company’s intellectual property is focused around the technology and techniques it brings to bear. He cites the example of a robot guided laser used to drill tiny holes in combustors.
“A combustor can have 100,000 very fine holes, so high speed laser technology is a key element for us.”
From a financial perspective, the company expects revenue to grow steadily as the production rate gears up for advanced Trent and Pratt & Whitney engines in the 2020s.
MHIAEL will also be responsible for final assembly of the PW1200G turbofan that will power the Mitsubishi Aircraft MRJ regional jet. Pratt & Whitney recently announced that MHIAEL had completed its first PW1200G assembly. The engine passed the company’s production acceptance examination and will enter the MRJ flight-test programme.
Longer term, MHIAEL will obtain international certifications required to perform MRO work on the Pratt & Whitney PW1000 family, particularly the PW1100 that powers the A320neo family. This will build on its existing customer base for the V2500, which includes Thai Airways, Jetstar, Thai Smile, Juneyao Air, Cathay Dragon, SilkAir, and IndiGo.
Corrected to reflect that preferred acronym for company is MHIAEL.