CADIZ, SPAIN (April 23, 2:30 p.m. ET) — Cadiz-based composites specialist Carbures LLC has established a joint venture business with a Chinese partner to produce smaller carbon fiber components for use in the new Airbus A350 airliner.
The new enterprise, Harbin Carbures Guanglian Composite Aeronautic, set up jointly with leading tier one parts supplier Guanglian Aeronautic Composite Materials Process & Equipment Co., will construct a plant in the northeastern China city of Harbin.
From 2014, it will start manufacturing structural composite parts of under seven meters long using hand lay-up technology for supply to Airbus at its nearby Euro/Chinese joint venture Harbin Hafei Airbus Composite Manufacturing Centre, which opened last year.
The center is focused on turning out components for the new A350 Airbus plane, 53 percent of whose structure is to be made of composite materials. It will be producing components such as rudders, elevators, maintenance doors and belly fairings representing a significant part of the 5 percent of airframe work being handled in China.
Carbures, formed through the merger of Atlántica Composites and Easy Industrial Solutions S.L., has two main bases, one at El Puerto de Santa Maria near Cadiz, Spain and the other in Greenville, S.C., near a Boeing plant.
“This investment will make Carbures the only tier 2 supplier in the world with a presence in the major aviation markets of China, the United States and Europe,” said Ivan Contreras, the firm's US CEO. The latest deal will lead to the creation of 50 jobs for engineers and designers at the group's Greenville operation, which was established in 2010.
The Chinese partnership with Gualian Aeronautic, which is already a well respected supplier in China, will allow Carbures to accelerate its production of composite carbon fiber parts for Airbus over the coming 10 years, Contreras said.
Carbures also manufactures carbon fiber reinforced plastics structural parts for other markets including the automotive, naval, railway, infrastructure and healthcare sectors.