Eaton Aerospace Bets On Asia Recovery With Recent Investments

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SINGAPORE—Eaton Corp.’s aerospace division is betting on growth in MRO and manufacturing activities in the Asia-Pacific region, taking advantage of investments in new facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Recovery in the Asia-Pacific market will be uneven and slow,” Desmond Goh, managing director Asia-Pacific, said Feb. 15 at the Singapore Airshow.

Eaton launched a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) shop in Shanghai last year as part of a joint venture (JV) with Comac. The JV initially focused on component manufacturing for the ARJ-21 and C919. The portfolio was broadened to include Airbus and Boeing MRO capabilities, particularly for the fuel system, hydraulics, actuators, ducts and tubes, Goh says.

Components were previously shipped to the UK and U.S. facilities for repairs. The closer proximity of the Shanghai facility will enable faster turnarounds for Asian customers, Goh points out. Opening up the facility has been tricky in the midst of the pandemic—one of the challenges has been bringing U.S. FAA and European Union Aviation Safety Agency officials into the country for certification.

Eaton also opened a new manufacturing plant in Bangalore, India, that is building hoses and tubes.

The recent acquisition of Cobham Mission Systems, targeted at growing the group’s military business, led to a broader commercial portfolio, too, including an air separation module. “We see that as an opportunity,” Goh says.

Jens Flottau

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Jens is executive editor and leads Aviation Week Network’s global team of journalists covering commercial aviation.