AEPL Puts Thrust on Export Diversification

By Editor 2021

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AEPL now has wider experience in the supply of engine components and it entered the global market through manufacturing and supply of engine components to one of its major customer M/s. Continental Aerospace Technologies, USA. Also AEPL has signed a long-term contract with the Egyptian Armament Authority for the Manufacturing of Aerospace Components. Discussions are underway for Joint Venture and ToT with global players in the civil aerospace market said R Sundaram, Managing Director, Aerospace Engineers Private Limited (AEPL). In an interview with Aeromag, he talks about the company’s operations and business plans.

Established in the year 2000, AEPL has been catering to the growing needs of Aviation, Space, Missiles and Civil Aircraft requirements. Where does the company stand in the global market and what are the major achievements over these years?

When started in the year 2000, AEPL was into production of detail parts of Rubber, Metallic & Composite material.  Over these years AEPL received wide exposure and expertise in the manufacturing of high precision metallic, rubber and composites. AEPL now has wider experience in the supply of engine components and it entered the global market through manufacturing and supply of engine components to one of its major customer M/s. Continental Aerospace Technologies, USA. Also AEPL has signed a long-term contract with the Egyptian Armament Authority for the Manufacturing of Aerospace Components. Discussions are underway for Joint Venture and ToT with global players in the civil aerospace market.

Could you talk about the company’s association with the defence PSUs and the types of products you supply?

AEPL is proud to be associated with HAL, DRDO, ISRO, Indian Air Force, Navy, BEL, BDL, BEML, BrahMos, NAL, etc.   In the initial stages, AEPL was into supply of detail parts and few LRUs with Airworthiness Certification.  Supporting the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India, AEPL is enthusiastic to manufacture indigenous Sub-systems of Aircraft & Helicopters, like Actuators, Pumps, Rubber Fuel Tanks, Control Valves, and LRUs etc. Most of these projects and opportunities are driven and initiated by DPSUs.  With the support from DRDO & HAL, AEPL is confident of developing various types of assemblies and sub-assemblies for defence projects. Recently AEPL has received “Creative Supplier Award” from DRDO for our support on Rubber Fuel Tank (ADE) which motivates total team to move forward with high energy.

How strong are the export operations of AEPL? How does the company support India’s vision of becoming a defence and aerospace exporter?

AEPL started its export business for civil aircraft programs and now it is exporting critical engine components like Roller Lifter Assemblies, Brackets, Adapters, Bushes, Hose Assemblies, PTFE parts, Valve Spares, Oil Seal Rings, etc.  At this juncture we are very proud to say that our hose assembly manufacturing is approved by DGCA vide ITSO –C140 (CAR-21 Subpart G) which is at par with FAA approval with which we are expecting more orders for exports.

Aerospace Engineers specialises in various areas such as precision machining and manufacturing of Rubber Components, Composites, Electro Mechanical LRU’s, Missiles sub-assemblies, etc. to list a few. How does AEPL look at the Defence Corridor project in Tamil Nadu?

It is a blessing for AEPL since Salem and Hosur are part of the propose defence corridor in Tamil Nadu.  Having our plants operating from both Salem and Hosur, we received a lot of opportunities from the government’s new defence manufacturing programs.  AEPL has set up a state-of-the-art testing facility for aeronautical and allied component / sub assembly / material.  There are many opportunities in India as part of the defence corridor program. AEPL sees it as an opportunity to expand its capabilities and capacity for taking up major assemblies, sub-assemblies and services.

What are the highlights of AEPL’s participation at Aero India 2021? How do you look at the expo as platform to seek new business partners to expand your business?

In Aero India 2021, AEPL will showcase assembly components like Hose Assemblies, Lifter assemblies, Lubrication oil pump, Jet Pumps & Fuel Pump, Rotor Mast Seal, Thrust Vector Control, Cowling, Valves, Rear Fin Assy., Cockpit seals, etc.,   Much emphasis will be given on our future plans with our existing and new customers. Also, Government is giving a lot of emphasis on Atmanirbhar Bharat and AEPL looks forward to explore wider opportunities in this regard at the Aero India through one-to-one business meetings.  AEPL is opening its arm for inviting JVs and ToTs which will be mutually beneficial.

How did AEPL survive the impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic? What are the latest updates of the expansion projects by the company?

During the peak months of Covid-19 pandemic, DRDO has recognized AEPL’s contribution in the indigenous development of various components for airworthiness and seaworthiness application and gave an opportunity to prove our mettle in developing health care components for ventilators CV-200 during the pandemic Covid-19.  AEPL had tremendous support from DRDO which has helped in the indigenous development of more than 75 types of health care components like Rubber moulded components, Rubber hose Assemblies, Rubber with Metal Bonded, Metallic Fittings, Metallic Assemblies, mounting brackets, Compressor Reservoirs, Breather Bag, plastic components which were imported earlier.  All these parts are made out of aerospace material as well as Medical Grade (ROHS) material.  AEPL team has worked beyond the boundaries and has successfully supplied 30,000 set of components (75 types of components each) for the ventilators and compressors within a short span of 45 days (including tool design, process design, validation & production establishment).  With this experience, AEPL is marking its footprint in Health Care Division.

Could you share with us your vision and priorities for AEPL in the years ahead? What are the major objectives to be achieved?

MRO & Sub-System Developments are the focus areas for near future. AEPL has taken up indigenous design, development, manufacture and servicing of a variety of Actuators, Valves, Pumps, High Pressure Hoses, Rubber Fuel Tanks, Gear Box from Various Divisions of HAL and DRDO against development orders. Some of these products are duly certified by CEMILAC and DGAQA. AEPL has simultaneously engaged in development of airborne sub-systems under the MAKE-II policy, Overhauling of LRU’s, Sub-system of Engines, Gear Box, Actuators, Pumps, Blowers, Landing gears etc. AEPL has developed the capability to take up indigenous development of Linear and Rotary Electro Mechanical Actuators among other sub-systems for the Missile programs.  AEPL strongly believes in diversification and the company is taking dedicated strides into the space of autonomous UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) that can be programmed to perform various tasks like surveillance and inspections.  Also, having excellent CNC machining shops, discussions are going on for manufacturing of structural metallic parts of UAV & Composite mounded parts.

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