Godrej Aerospace readies ₹200-crore facility for defence business orders. Will invest ₹50 cr in Centre of Excellence

Expanding its partnership with aerospace major Rolls-Royce, Godrej Aerospace, a business unit of Godrej & Boyce, has bagged a ₹200-crore contract. The Indian group will invest ₹50 crore in a new facility, called the Centre of Excellence, with an aim to strengthen its foothold in the aerospace sector.

Godrej is to manufacture unison rings, complex fabrication and external brackets and will supply 600 different parts to Rolls-Royce's civil aerospace engine portfolio. The company has secured the contract to make the parts at its new facility in Mumbai over the next five years.

Fabrication Process

Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce, told BusinessLine that, “Fabrication has been a long term area of excellence for us. Right from the beginning of the supply of the Vikas engine (for ISRO’s rockets), the company has been doing a lot of fabrication, including the cone and all the turbine parts, machining, piping and welding. Over decades we have developed the knowledge that goes into making aerospace components. Our long heritage of doing fabrication processes will be put to best use at the new facility."

The Centre of Excellence (CoE) will be capable of meeting the diverse needs of aircraft manufacturers, and can cater to fabrication, machining, assembly as well as testing of special processes required in aerospace and defence applications.

S M Vaidya, Executive Vice-President and Business Head, Godrej Aerospace told BusinessLine that the company "specialises in fabricated items and actuators, and undertakes complex fabrications. As of now, we can produce 600 families of brackets, which is around 20,000 annually. This is for the first year. As demand goes up, we can scale it up, since our capacity at the Mumbai site is for 40,000 complex brackets."

Noting that Godrej's partnership with Rolls-Royce would help the latter shave off "20-30 per cent of its costs", compared to what it would have incurred in another country, Vaidya said fabricating brackets was just the “beginning of a great journey to manufacture long beam longer on, which generally is the floor beam, the very foundation, and forms the basis of the aisle in wide-bodied aircraft”.

Godrej Aerospace has partnered with several global aviation and defence manufacturers, and has been supplying them components such as sheet metal and tubing assemblies, actuators and other complex structures. The company first bagged a contract from Rolls-Royce in 2014 for manufacturing unison rings. Since then, it has also started complex sheet metal fabrication.

Celebrating A Milestone

Kishore Jayaraman, President, India and South Asia, Rolls-Royce, said the expansion of the partnership with Godrej "celebrates the establishment of a product to be supplied out of the Mumbai facility to the globe. It is a journey that is evolving and we are celebrating a milestone today. We will now work on the next milestone with Godrej, since they are an integral part of Rolls-Royce's global supply chain."

Jayaraman added the contract “to manufacture aero engine components also showcases our commitment to developing an aerospace ecosystem in this country”.

Rolls-Royce has manufacturing facilities in Bangalore and Pune. The company has also teamed up with other Indian companies, notably Hindustan Aeronautics, Bharat Forge and the Tata Group, for sourcing certain components. Godrej Aerospace CoE's metallurgy capabilities includes stainless steel and titanium and is expected to be one of the best aerospace facilities in India for the manufacture of aerospace brackets.

Commenting on the annual requirements of these brackets in a wide-bodied aircraft, Vaidya said, “Around 1,30,000 brackets are needed every year, of which we are targeting 20,000 and can expand it to 40,000 at the Mumbai facility. Our share will be roughly 10 per cent today, but can easily scale it."

Godrej Aerospace recently contributed to the ISRO’s successful launch of 104 satellites by manufacturing critical components for the launch vehicle.

For ISRO’s launch, the company manufactured second stage liquid propulsion engine and fourth stage reaction control system components for the launch vehicle.