VIC International Holding Corporation (AVIC INTL.), subsidiary of the Industry of Aviation of China (AVIC), announced last night during a ceremony that AVIC International Aero-Development Corporation (AVICADE), AVIC International Capital Co.Ltd., both subsidiaries of AVIC INTL., together with Han ́s Laser Technology Industry Group Co. have successfully concluded the acquisition of Aritex Cading SA, one of the leading suppliers world-wide of automatic assembly systems in the aerospace and automotive industries.
Aritex Cading S.A., headquartered in Barcelona, Spain, with a subsidiary in Washington State to support Boeing’s 777X program, offers integrated automated assembly solutions for the aerospace and automotive industries, including automated drilling and riveting systems and high-accuracy positioning and metrology solutions.
Attending the ceremony to celebrate the acquisition were Gu Huizhong, Vice President of AVIC Group, Wu Guangquan president of AVIC Intl., the Hon. Mr. Don Lv Fan, Chinese Ambassador to Spain, the Hon. Vice President and Minister of Economy and Finance of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Mr. Don Oriol Junqueras and representatives from Airbus, Boeing, Mercedes and Volkswagen among other guests and VIPs.
AVIC has acquired 95% ownership of Aritex, the remaining 5% will be retained by David Lopez, CEO of Aritex, who will continue to lead the company together with the existing management team. The acquisition represents a strategic step forward for the Catalan company to reassert its leadership position in Europe, both with Airbus, who recognized Aritex with a prize for “Best Supplier 2015” for their contribution to the production of the new model A350XWB, and Volkswagen and Mercedes who rely on Aritex for the development and manufacture of its automobile assembly lines in different European plants.
Aritex has recently set up a subsidiary in Lynwood, WA, under the name of Aritex USA with engineering and project management capabilities in support of contracts awarded by Boeing for the design and build of equipment for the 777X Composite Wing Center.
With the financial backing of the new shareholder, Aritex looks to grow in the US, both organically as well as via an acquisition that will bring new technology to the existing product portfolio along with a larger footprint in the Puget Sound area.
Vice president of AVIC, Gu Huizhong during the ceremony said:" automated assembly in Aviation requires technologically complex engineering content and represents key cost driver for the manufacture of aircraft representing between 50% and 60% of the total manufacturing cost.” He also confirmed that automation in aviation is a necessary element of improving product quality in Chinese aviation in terms of quality, cost and process time. “The experience Aritex brings in engineering and technology will be important to fill the gaps in existing know-how in the Chinese market by improving current assembly technology and helping implement future factory concepts in China. "
On the other hand, the president of AVIC Intl., Wu Guangquan also said during the ceremony that AVIC Intl has strategically bet on bringing technology and international cooperation from abroad to support Chinese aircraft manufacturers developing their own technology. In recent years, he says that: "Aritex has accumulated experience in technology assembly with an outstanding team of professional skills and international vision.”
Oriol Junqueras was there to celebrate with Aritex at this decisive moment for them: "China in the 21st century has taken a leadership position in the global economy, a position they have had held for a long time.” He continued, saying that the acquisition of Aritex by the Chinese group represented "the beginning of a meeting of the two economies that will continue to grow together” and that the Catalan government will make every effort to support this partnership.
Another important impact of the acquisition, in the words of David Lopez, will be at Aritex China, a subsidiary in China since 2012, which will increase its team of local talent. China is clearly a country with a very significant growth in the aerospace and automotive and Aritex, together with AVIC, has a great potential. Aritex, with current revenue of of 80 million euros in 2015, expects to triple that figure by 2020 through a combination of organic growth in China and the acquisition other aerospace technology companies in both in Europe and the United States. In addition to funding this growth, AVIC will enable Aritex to increase investment in technological projects, specifically the creation of a technology center for automation in collaboration with existing R&D centers of excellence and Spanish universities.
Aritex has also recently received a contract award through their subsidiary Loxin (Pamplona, Spain) from Nova-Tech Engineering, also based in
Lynnwood, WA, to supply robotic drilling solutions for the Airbus A320 final assembly line in Hamburg, Germany.
For AVIC it represents a strategic acquisition in the aeronautics supply chain at international level which will allow Chinese aviation companies compete globally. With the acquisition of Aritex, AVIC aims to increase the level of automated assembly lines in China's aviation and ultimately accelerate the development of Chinese civil aviation.
With the full support of AVIC group Aritex will benefit from the cost advantages of manufacturing in China, improving the supply chain and consolidating partnerships. This long term commitment from AVIC to Aritex will ensure that Aritex will be a global leader in automation for years to come.
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