Composites Technology Research Malaysia expands manufacturing facility

CTRM, which manufactures composite components for Airbus and Boeing aircraft, is adding 150 000 ft2 of  floor space to its facility. This gives a total floor space of 500 000 ft2, which is expected to generate revenue of Malaysian ringgit (RM) 390 million in 2010, a 59% increase from 2008.

This growth will also create new jobs. The company is planning to recruit 5% more new employees within the next year, to add into its current workforce of 1200.

CTRM's biggest customer, Spirit AeroSystems (Europe) Ltd, plays a big role in the these plans. CTRM has developed a new facility in Subang, Kuala Lumpur, under Spirit AeroSystems Malaysia Sdn Bhd, part of Spirit AeroSystems Inc, which is an independent supplier of aerostructures and systems to the commercial aviation market.

Spirit's decision to open up a facility in Malaysia has had a beneficial effect on the Malaysian aerospace industry.

“We have had a close relationship with Spirit for a number of years and see them as a business partner as well as our most valued customer,” says Datuk Rosdi Mahmud, from CTRM. “Because they are a Tier One supplier, who delivers products directly to Airbus and Boeing, their presence in Malaysia creates many new opportunities for CTRM and this is one of the main reasons behind the expansion of our production facility at Melaka.”

As well as work packages, the cooperation between CTRM and Spirit extends to developing the technology and training required to improve the knowledge and capabilities of Malaysia's workers.

The business activities of both companies are complementary as CTRM focuses on the detail manufacturing of the composite components, which Spirit Malaysia then integrates into wing subassemblies for a number of Airbus aircraft.

CTRM Composites Engineering

CTRM Composites Engineering (CTRM CE) has relocated to a new manufacturing facility at Bukit Rambai. The move is a part of its new business direction and growth plans, which focus on high-end composite applications for all market segments.

“In its early years, CTRM CE was concentrating on the automotive segment through a collaboration with Lotus Cars UK," says its CEO, Datuk Rosdi Mahmud. "But now we can move forward and expand our business beyond that.”

CTRM CE is involved in the development of the National Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Project (TUAV) by supplying the composites airframe for ALUDRA. It has also completed the manufacturing of 342 composite radome panels for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF).

At its new facility with 78 000 ft2 of space CTRM CE will continue to use its open moulding wet lay-up manufacturing process plus a new spray lay-up technique. “This method will support the boat building process, manufacturing of composites panels for radome, monorail and other future projects”, adds Datuk Rosdi. Last December, CTRM CE secured a three-year contract with LeisureCat Malaysia (the Malaysia facility of LeisureCat Australia) to manufacture a combined 300 catamaran vessels of 6 m and 8 m. This was the first marine contract awarded to CTRM CE (and to the CTRM Group).