Roberto Corral
Vice President and General Manager
Innocentro
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View from the Top

Making a Play in Global Arena

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 13:50

Q: What steps has Innocentro Aerospace taken to grow its international operations?

A: Alongside our partners in Phoenix, we created Innocentro LLC two years ago to commercialize Mexican products internationally and we have since introduced many parts to global markets. While we have several divisions, we focus on aerospace consulting, component engineering and production of technical publications for aircraft, train and automotive components. We have offices in Canada, the US and Mexico but our offices in Mexicali offer many advantages, so we plan to include new projects here.

The company has grown through constant investment and by developing processes to improve productivity, including the installation of metrics activities and an operations system. It started as Volare Engineering in 2001 to supply the aerospace industry in Mexico and the US and was restructured to weather the 2009 crisis, a move that has been instrumental in our recovery. Today, we are selling at pre-crisis levels but operating with half the workforce due to increased productivity and the implementation of better operating systems. We also expanded in areas such as the interior of landing gear and other pieces. We have the capacity to double our production and are expanding our competencies, looking for long-term projects. To restructure, it was necessary to acquire the ISO 9001-2008, which we are upgrading to ISO 9001-2015. Innocentro Aerospace has the AS 9100 certification for aerospace and defense systems.

Q: How does Innocentro Aerospace promote itself in the international arena?

A: Our team attends major international events including the Paris Air Show, Farnborough International Air Show, the ILA Berlin Air Show and the Aircraft Interior Expo AIX in Hamburg. We also participate in national initiatives to strengthen local industry.

Q: Who are your main clients and how do your various facilities cater to their needs?

A: Our facilities in Mexicali manufacture aircraft interior components for major OEMs, Tier 1s and their suppliers and support the aerospace industry in California. We supply Airbus in Herborn, Germany, three divisions of Zodiac Aerospace in America and we expect to begin working with a fourth division in the Czech Republic. We also work with many of Boeing’s aircraft platforms, with product design that includes insulation blankets, mechanical parts and seating structure carpentry.

We recently participated in the Crystal Cabin Awards in Hamburg, a contest organized by a German organization interested in innovating aircraft interiors, and presented a new composite cabinet concept, grabbing the attention of many potential buyers. We work with many national and international airlines, and also serve the Mexican Presidential airplane hangar.

Q: How would you describe the local and federal government’s support of the sector?

A: The local government and industry are committed to the aerospace industry’s growth. FEMIA, of which we are a founding member, signed a goodwill agreement with the Malaysian government to exchange information in the aerospace industry and their Minister of Economic Development visited to discuss an economic deal. In 2015, we took part in the Fit for Partnership program created by the German Embassy, INADEM and COPARMEX. Two months later, we signed an agreement at the German embassy in Mexico with the Mexico-Germany Businessmen Association (EMAAC), which incorporates SMEs from all economic areas in both countries. SMEs represent 83 percent of job sources for Mexicans.

While Mexico supports the aerospace global value chain, we are still far from developing a Mexican airplane. Many years ago the country implemented many regulatory policies to strengthen its manufacturing industry and international trade. While these policies made the country an attractive manufacturing center it did not succeed in generating an entire supply chain. Mexico has enough resources to promote and support the industry’s growth, integrating suppliers that meet all regulations from airworthy agencies, quality systems, industry standards and customer requirements.