US-based power management giant Eaton on Tuesday unveiled its first aerospace manufacturing facility in India. The new facility, located in Bengaluru, will manufacture hose assemblies and other fluid distribution products, including oil debris monitoring systems, to serve commercial, business and regional aircraft. With the opening of the Bengaluru facility, Eaton which posted sales of $21.6 billion in 2018, now operates 27 aerospace manufacturing locations around the world, including a joint venture in China. The facility would be an integral part of the growth strategy for Eaton’s aerospace business.
“We expect this facility to be our model plant for digital and smart manufacturing. We see the opportunity here to create a whole new facility with a culture (about) how we want to manufacture in the future... that we can showcase to all our customers and facilities globally,” said Nanda Kumar, president, Aerospace Group, Eaton. “We believe this investment in India will help us grow our original equipment business, because customers are investing heavily here. The site will leverage smart manufacturing technologies and contribute to local growth through employment, business and sourcing opportunities,” said Kumar.
Scott W Thompson, senior vice president and general manager, Aerospace Group, Eaton said the company is investing $10 million in this facility and expects to have hired 100 people at the plant by next year. The company expects the plant would contribute about $75 million toward the global revenue on an annual basis in the next couple of years.
“The facility would (cater) to customers, primarily for the exports right now, but obviously we are excited about the prospects of the domestic market as well,” said Thompson. “We have got a very strong interest from customers on this site. Because they like the strategic benefits of buying products made in India as well as working with the local supply chain.”
The facility, which will serve as the Hose Assembly Center of Excellence for Eaton’s global operations, is built over 2.85 acres of land at the Karnataka Aerospace special economic zone (SEZ), which is fast emerging as a major aerospace manufacturing hub. The company said it sees a significant opportunity to localize the supply chain and has already established a strong supplier base. “In addition, Bengaluru’s scientific and academic institutions have helped create a rich talent pool of well-qualified technical experts,” said Kumar.
In the aerospace industry, Eaton is a leading supplier of products and technologies for hydraulic systems, fuel and inerting systems, motion control and engine solutions. It serves commercial and military aerospace, marine and defence markets worldwide. For instance, Eaton has provided its aerospace product and technologies to support the missions of US space agency Nasa and also the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
Eaton has set up the aerospace facility in India at a time when the country is expecting to spend $130 billion in the next five to seven years on defence modernisation programmes.
“We have been contributing to ‘Make in India’ initiative with seven manufacturing plants that we already have in the country. With this facility, our commitment increases to continue doing that. We feel it would open up a lot of opportunities for us here,” said Nitin Chalke, president – hydraulics and vehicle, Asia Pacific, Eaton.