Zynda wrote:Completely OT but Dynamatics was selected to manf & supply flap tracks for A350 I think. Some of these small time folks are slowly rising up the value chain in aerospace.
They certainly deserve to be a preferential vendor for HAL/MoD (along with TASL) more than the likes of Reliance or Adani that supposedly 'racing for a slice of the big defence pie
An Ajai Shukla article from last year. Worth a full read.Dynamatic and the long road to “Make in India”
- Feb 2016
Dynamatic started out in licence-raj India as a manufacturer of hydraulics pumps. Still in that business, the company’s revenue now comes mostly from automotive components built in Chennai and Germany for a range of carmakers, including BMW, Mercedes Benz and Audi. Meanwhile it moves steadily towards becoming a large fabricator of aerospace components and systems --- the gold standard of precision manufacturing.
While the National Democratic Alliance talks up the “Make in India” project as a quick fix for galvanising indigenisation, it has taken Dynamatic thirty years to build this capability.
Today, Dynamatic builds “flap track beam assemblies” for every one of the 54 single-aisle airliners that Airbus assembles each month. If this assembly --- critical for an airliner’s balance, lift and turn --- were not delivered on time and to precise specifications, the assembly of A-318, A-319, A-320 and A-321 aircraft in France (50 per month) and China (four per month) would grind to a halt.
Dynamatic is also a growing supplier to Boeing. Starting with an offset-linked order for mission and power cabinets for the Indian Navy’s eight Boeing P8-I multi-mission maritime aircraft, Boeing quickly expanded the order to encompass every P8 aircraft being built for the US and Australian navies. Pleased with what they saw, Boeing then placed orders on Dynamatic for the Chinook CH-47E helicopters that India is buying. The Chinook’s main pylon and ramp, which will start being delivered next month, are the most sophisticated aero structures being exported from India.
For the Indian aerospace market, Dynamatics builds one-sixth of the airframe of the Sukhoi-30MKI fighter, shipping part to Nashik where Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) integrates them into the fighter. In November, HAL presented the company its “best supplier” award.
Instead of providing foreign vendors with a sweatshop for reducing costs through low-wage labour, Dynamatic has fashioned a multi-national capability based on comparative advantage. In 2008, Dynamatics bought over a Bristol-based, family-owned concern called Oldland. In 2011, it acquired a 630-year-old German automotive components manufacturer, Eisenwerke Erla GmbH, gaining access to a world-class foundry and cutting-edge research and development facilities.
“In fabricating aerospace and high-tech automotive components, each part of us does what they are best at. We machine the most complex parts in Bristol; and ship those to India, where we do the final assembly. Western Europe is the best place for complex, five-axis robotic machining. So we use robotic machining facilities there, since labour is expensive, while capital is cheap --- just 2 per cent, compared to 12 per cent here. Then we transport those machined components to India, where our strength is artisanal manufacture, and assemble them here. This global delivery model is winning us business against global competition”, says Malhoutra.
Dynamatic lays emphasis on doing more for their customers than just providing manufacturing and assembly capacity. This is highlighted to me at the Bell-407 helicopter cabin assembly unit, which was set up after a $243 million deal in 2013 for building cabins over the succeeding ten years.
I learn that a bevy of Bell Helicopter technicians hovering over the assembly line are overseeing the conversion by Dynamatic of two-dimension paper blueprints that Bell Helicopter provided, into three-dimension computer models that are far more precise, and have tighter tolerances than the old paper drawings. Digitising the drawings creates a baseline configuration for greater accuracy. This streamlines manufacture, while also benefiting the customer.
Malhoutra recounts that, when Dynamatic first began digitising a drawing, his overseas customer cautioned that this was not part of the contract and would not be paid for. But when the digitisation was complete, it was evident that manufacturing according to the two-dimensional paper blueprint would leave tiny gaps between the different components in the assembly. Earlier, as per twentieth-century manufacturing practice, the tiny gaps between components were filled with shims. But by digitising blueprints, those tiny gaps could be entirely eliminated during manufacture.
Malhoutra claims to run Dynamatic as a meritocracy across 3,000 employees, including 600 engineers and 60 scientists. The company runs the largest aerospace skills development programme outside of HAL; and has adopted the Industrial Training Institute at nearby Devanhalli, aiming to turn it into India’s first aerospace ITI.