Persistence drives global supply chain success

WINNING Manufacturers' Monthly 2012 Global Integration Award is a clear indication that aerospace engineering company TAE Gas Turbines (TAE) is doing everything right when it comes to global supply chains.

The company which provides a combination of aerospace manufacturing, gas turbine engine maintenance and engineering support services to industry, works with multiple products and the technology is used in a growing number of applications such as advanced liquid-cooled electronics enclosures, cold plates, waveguides and radar assemblies. 

TAE is the first Australian company to have developed Aluminium Vacuum Brazing technology and one of only a very small number world-wide able to offer the capability.

Accepting the Global Integration Award, presented by Derek Lark, executive director of Industry Capability Network (ICN) and also sponsor, Greg Twiner, Business Development Manager with TAE, said the key to the company success has been a lot of handwork and persistence by a dedicated team of engineers.

The company which is largely geared to work export markets, with almost all of it customers being international companies, told award attendees that if TAE was able to find success in a highly-competitive niche market, there is definitely a future in Australian manufacturing exports.

"We talk about the difficulty of manufacturing locally, but Australia has a lot of potential," Twiner said.

"If TAE can succeed in the global aerospace business, a market which is one of the toughest you can think of, there is definitely a future for manufacturing in this country, so I commend you to all to try, and to just keep trying."

TAE's pure work ethic and drive has seen the company engage with a number of international supply chains predominantly within the global aerospace and defence arena. 

The focus for this engagement has been primarily with TAE's Aluminium Vacuum Brazing manufacturing capability.

Over the last 12 months TAE has signed long term agreements and winning production contracts from international multi-national aerospace companies such as Harris Corporation and BAE Systems. Included amongst these contracts have been situations where TAE is now the sole, global supplier for complex components on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The Harris Corporation deal, signed in July last year, is a long-term agreement which sees TAE manufacture and supply of liquid-cooled electronics enclosures for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. 

At the time, Andrew Sanderson, General Manager of TAE said the deal had a potential worth in excess of $15m and is the first of many expected to be signed by the company for the F-35 programme. Sanderson said the key to the deal was TAE's Aluminium Vacuum Brazing technology.

Headquartered in Brisbane, Queensland, TAE is the first Australian company to have developed this technology and one of only a very small number world-wide able to offer the capability. The technology is used in a growing number of applications such as advanced liquid-cooled electronics enclosures, cold plates, waveguides and radar assemblies. 

The electronics enclosures produced by TAE have attracted the attention of local and global manufacturers of military and commercial passenger aircraft, as well as stakeholders in the maritime and land vehicle sectors.
Endeavour Awards judges noted TAE's long term strategic planning as one key factor to the company's global success.

"TAE has shown considerable success in entering the long term supply arrangements with its Aluminium Vacuum Brazing manufacturing capability," the judges said.

TAE offers a one-stop-shop capability, with its associated processes (chromate conversion, painting, heat treatment), CNC machining and flow and pressure testing to complement the AVB process. The company also provides design and prototyping support to customers wishing to develop new products using this sort of technology.

TAE has developed partnerships with organisations in the defence force, original equipment manufacturers, large airlines, regional airlines and maintenance organisations.

The company operates across seven sites around Australia. Its aerospace engineering services include maintenance, manufacturing, overhaul, repair and engineering, for turbine engines, passenger and military transport aircraft, fast jets, helicopters, regional aircraft, general aviation and agricultural aircraft.

The TAE Group is made up of three operational businesses: TAE, TAE Aviation and Masling Industries comprise the TAE Group.

TAE Aviation and Masling Industries business has allowed the company to develop successful engineering partnerships with regional, general aviation and agricultural operators. The company has an industry-leading list of approvals for both commercial and military aviation MRO services.

Image: Hard work is the backbone to success according to the TAE team who accepted the Award from Derek Lark, executive director, ICN (third from left).