In previous Supply Chain Matters postings, we have called attention to metals and components supplier Alcoa. In September of 2014 we highlighted the announcement of Alcoa’s long-term strategic agreement with Boeing’s commercial aircraft unit. Our March 2015 commentary further highlighted this supplier’s strategic positioning within commercial aircraft and aerospace supply chains, and our September commentary noted how product innovation efforts have begun to pay off.
This week features the news that Alcoa has signed a $1 billion deal to supply aircraft components such as bolts, rivets and other specialty fasteners with Airbus. Alcoa classifies this deal as its largest deal for aerospace fastening systems with Airbus.
According to published reports, the parts are to be fabricated from titanium, steel and nickel-based alloys utilized in newer Airbus aircraft models such as the A350, the A320 neo, and the A330. The components were designed to withstand extreme operating conditions and be more resistant to wear.
Once again, Alcoa has characterized these new fastener components as having “breakthrough technology for some of the most advanced aircraft in the world.” Of further significance, these specialty parts that Alcoa has developed are normally provided by niche specialty metal suppliers catering to the aerospace sector.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, most of the work related to this new Airbus supply contract would be completed in California and a more than a dozen Alcoa world-wide sites.