Boeing has first fully-owned manufacturing facility in Malaysia via ACM [BTTV]

Boeing has first fully-owned manufacturing facility in Malaysia via ACM [BTTV]

By BILQIS BAHARI - January 22, 2024 @ 8:09am

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KUALA LUMPUR: Boeing has deepened its footprint in Southeast Asia by having its first wholly-owned manufacturing facility in Malaysia with the acquisition of the shares in Aerospace Composites Malaysia Sdn Bhd (ACM) held by Hexcel Corp.

ACM, which began operations in 2001, had operated as a joint venture with Hexcel until late December 2023 when Boeing completed the former's acquisition.

The 47,200-square metre factory is based in Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah.

The US aircraft manufacturer said ACM supplies composite products and sub-assemblies such as aileron skins - the moveable part of an aircraft's wing and flat panels to name a few, used on all current Boeing commercial aircraft.


"Boeing recognises the value that ACM provides and looks forward to working with it as a wholly-owned subsidiary," the plane manufacturer told Business Times in a statement without sharing the value of the acquisition.

Boeing's relationship with Malaysia Airlines first started in 1972 when its first B737-200 landed in Subang Airport.

Earlier in 1968, Boeing delivered three 707 jetliners to the national carrier Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (formerly Malayan Airways Ltd).

In 1969, Malaysia-Singapore Airlines became the first 737-100 Southeast Asian customer when it purchased five of these aircraft to replace the Comet 4.

Malaysia Airlines was also one of Boeing's first 777 customers in Southeast Asia.

The airline's first 777 - the Super Ranger - set world records for speed and distance in April 1997, flying around the world in 41 hours, 59 minutes, covering more than 23,000 miles (37,030 kilometers).

Over the years, Malaysia Airlines Bhd has taken delivery of more than 140 Boeing airplanes, including 100 737s.

Boeing said ACM had grown its permanent all-Malaysian workforce to some 1,000 people with support from the Malaysian government and through collaborative university relationships.

On ACM's website, the company said in 2005 it became the world's sole producer of aileron composites for the 737 Next Generation (NG) commercial airplanes.

Prior to that, it was the sole producer and distributor of the fixed trailing-edge composite and fixed leading-edge composite for Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 commercial airplane models.

ACM also had 10 new programmes between 2017 and 2018 to produce the 737 MAX winglet, new 777X works including composites FTE panels and empennage.

In 2020, the company won Boeing's award for superior supplier performance.

ACM is currently headed by managing director Justin Franke who was with Boeing for 26 years.