The Howmet exhibit on Alcoa’s Paris Air Show display stand has been drawing much attention at the Paris Air Show. Gary Zakrzeski talks about Howmet’s current strengths in the aerospace market, and how the company is looking for new growth opportunities in today’s environment:
Historically, Howmet has been a leader in blade and vane manufacturing for jet engines, but we have room for growth in the other aspect of our business – which is based on structural castings for aero-engine structures and airframe structures, produced in titanium, aluminum or superalloy.
This is why we’re showing – for the first time – our capabilities in terms of the large structural castings that we manufacture today. We have some great examples here at the Paris Air Show, including the fan hub frame for GE’s GEnX jet engine on 787 and 747. We also are exhibiting the aluminum front frame for Honeywell’s HF 7000 business jet engine, which again is a good example of our capabilities; along with a compressor component from our LaPorte, Ind., casting facility.
The traffic on our exhibit stand has been excellent: Our customer feedback confirms they are pleased with the type of capabilities we’re exhibiting. Even the senior management at Alcoa Aerospace has been impressed by the size and complexity of these parts.
This is a great introduction for Howmet to many aerospace companies, and we’re also meeting with numerous current customers who already know us well. In both cases, providing them an opportunity to see such large structural castings goes a long way in terms of demonstrating our capabilities – especially because we’re on many key programs, and there’s a lot of opportunity for us to grow.
The timing for growth is excellent for us because there are several new airframes that are going into major production, and others are ramping up their production rates. Also, many new engines are being released that have significant opportunity for large structural castings.
I believe the marketplace is looking for additional competition in large structural castings, and Howmet is ready to respond.