Sheet metal brackets for some of Boeing’s best-selling commercial aeroplanes are in the last lap of certification in the UK. The company's latest 737, 777, 787 commercial aircraft could soon sport India-made products from one of its tier-1 supplier.

Boeing India and Godrej & Boyce had inked an agreement in December 2016 for the manufacture and supply of sheet metal brackets.

The high precision products, “that can withstand temperatures ranging from 600-700 degrees Centigrade and minus 30-50 degree Centigrade and can endure heavy vibrations and shock when the aircraft is flying at 30,000 feet”, have been readied at Godrej & Boyce's research and development centre in Mumbai.

SM Vaidya, Executive Vice-President and Business Head, Godrej Aerospace, told BusinessLine that the products have accordingly “been shipped to Boeing's facility in the US to gain certification, following which full-scale manufacture is expected to commence from June”.

The imminent certification marks the first step in the august supplier contractor relationship.

Vaidya said suppliers must assume responsibility for managing everything, from raw materials through fabrication, assembly, and critical certifications.

As Boeing focuses more of its attention on the integration of large components and systems for its aircraft, the role of the supplier to the aviation major has become even more critical.

The company is relying heavily on its supply base to achieve the customers’ demand.

This reliance is causing a fundamental shift in the role of the supplier. Boeing suppliers say they are ready for the challenge.

“Strong partnership with suppliers can make a difference between winning and losing orders, given the on-time delivery and cost overruns plaguing the aviation sector," said Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce.

Generally, suppliers operate as partners and can provide components and assemblies that make up more than 60 per cent of the cost of Boeing products.

Godrej & Boyce's contract with Boeing Commercial Airplanes as their tier-I vendor is just one of the many partnerships the airline major has in India.

As Boeing's annual sourcing from India crosses $1 billion, it has strengthened its supply chain with over 160 partners to provide parts and assemblies covering aerostructures, composites, brackets, forgings, and avionics mission systems.

Its supplier network in India delivers complex work packages for commercial and defence aircraft.