Rolls-Royce may be a brand most commonly associated with luxury cars, but it is also an innovate leader in technology and engineering, serving the civil aerospace, defense aerospace, marine and energy sectors globally. Since its establishment in 1906, the company has grown from an automobile manufacturer to one of world’s most prominent companies in power systems on land, at sea and in the air.
Rolls-Royce manufactures gas turbine engines for both the civil and defense aerospace industry. The immense success in these divisions has lead Rolls-Royce to become the second largest provider of defense aero-engine products globally, delivering engines to 160 customers in 103 countries. Rolls-Royce has also manufactured nearly 13,000 engines around the world for the civil aerospace division. The company has a solid presence in Thailand, working closely through its vendors to connect with Thailand’s vast network of Tier II and Tier III part suppliers.
Thailand Offers Rolls-Royce Outsourcing Opportunities
In 1989, Rolls-Royce sought to benefit from Thailand’s growing trade power and ideal central location in the ASEAN region and expanded its business into the country by establishing an office in Bangkok. Building its presence in Thailand and working through its vendors, the company has been able to take advantage of the country’s wide network of aerospace parts suppliers, and leverage that network to strengthen its supply chain in the region.
“We see Thailand as having good fundamentals for aerospace manufacturing, and we will continue to support the development of an aerospace industrial roadmap for Thailand,” said Hugh Vanijprabha, Managing Director - Thailand, Rolls-Royce. “Thailand is in close proximity to Singapore, where we have a major manufacturing presence. This makes it convenient and efficient for our suppliers to be located in Thailand, where they have further reach into the regional supply chain ecosystem.”
Rolls-Royce’s presence in Thailand is comprised of three separate supply companies that manufacture parts for the company’s engines before they are shipped to the UK. Senior Plc., formerly known as Weston EU, has facilities in the Thailand’s Chonburi Province that produce compressor blades, vanes and compressor aerofoils that are used in Rolls-Royce’s V2500 engine. Triumph Structures, a leading Tier II supplier of engineered metallic and composite parts, supplies composite/metallic propulsion and structural aircraft products for Rolls-Royce. In 2011, Rolls-Royce signed a 10-year contract with existing supplier Leistritz to open and operate a manufacturing base in Chonburi. The facility forges compressor blades made of steel, titanium and nickel-based alloys.
BUILD Assists Companies in Sourcing Operations
For companies that are looking to have more direct presence in Thailand, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) serves as a key resource. The agency created the BOI Unit for Industrial Linkage Development (BUILD) to support industries in the country and help companies to source parts. This department is a one-stop shop for foreign companies with supply needs, as it provides assistance searching and screening Thai companies while scheduling all appointments, including one-to-one meetings and factory visits.
“We enjoy a great working relationship with the Thailand Board of Investment,” said Mr Vanijprabha. “They have been very supportive and determined to work with the industry to help develop the aerospace sector in Thailand.”
Other leading aviation companies such as General Electric Co., Boeing, Michelin, Triumph Group, Chromalloy, Ducommun Incorporated, Aeroworks, Eurocopter, Driessen and Minebea have also sought the country’s premier supplier status and currently have operations in Thailand.