Reaching New Heights

Strategic acquisitions to enhance OSG support network for global aerospace manufacturing

Max Suzuki  |  OSG Corporation Aerospace Engineering Manager

The aerospace industry is expected to witness significate growth in the coming years with increasing air travel in China, the Middle East and other emerging nations. Globally, the demand for new technologically advanced fuel-efficient aircrafts continues to rise. Manufacturers are always in seek of improved materials and processing methods to enhance parts in less time, build complex features with ease while maintaining overall cost efficiency.

The demand for advanced aircrafts also accelerated the consumption of superalloys and composite materials. Heat-resistant superalloys, such as nickel alloys, provide strength and structural reliability at high temperatures, which is required in advanced jet engines. In addition to superalloys, a large percentage of new aircrafts components include composite materials due to their superior strength and substantially lightweight characteristics.

As failure at 35,000 feet above ground has major consequences, the aerospace industry has extremely low tolerance of risk. Aviation parts and components are highly regulated with strict requirements. Certification is a major barrier to entry into the aerospace sector. OSG has been promoted to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Tier 1 tool supplier since June 2015. As AMRC is the world’s most advanced aerospace research facility, this achievement is a recognition of OSG’s advanced technology and ability to work on a wide range of projects with utmost quality control.

For many years, OSG has supplied cutting tools for the processing of aircraft parts around the world. OSG has built a high reputation for its capability to effectively process difficult-to-machine materials such as superalloys and composites. As technology continues to evolve, OSG is also constantly researching and developing new cutting tools solutions dedicated to the aerospace industry. Acquiring and responding to customer feedback is one of the most critical processes in product development. To better serve end users and to obtain accurate feedback, OSG has strategically acquired three aerospace related manufacturers in France and the United States in the past couple of years – SMOC Industries, AMAMCO Tool and Desgranges Holding S.A.S.

September 2017 SMOC Industries in France

OSG became the major shareholder of SMOC Industries by taking 55 percent of its shares in September 2017. Founded in 1946, SMOC is a French manufacturer based in Tullins, a small city in the heart of the Alpes. In the early days of SMOC, the company specialized in the production of special cutting tools and form tools for milling and turning machines. In 1969, SMOC began manufacturing broaches. In 1975, SMOC began the development of Christmas type broaches for Airbus engines.

An image of SMOC Industries’ Christmas tree broaches, which are used to manufacture slots on turbine disc for helicopter engines, aircraft engines and gas turbines.

Today, SMOC is a leading manufacturer in Europe for aircraft engine cutting tools. SMOC relies on its creativity, innovation and research and development team to ensure continuous progress. In spirit of innovation and research, SMOC has been involved for many years in several aircraft research programs, including the LEAP engine, which was developed by Safran Aircraft Engines and GE.

Utilizing some of the latest manufacturing equipment,SMOC maintains high quality control throughout its production process.

As of 2017, SMOC employs over 100 staff and has recently opened a new 1,600-square-meter facility dedicated to aeronautic and tool management in addition to its existing 3,500-square-meter production capacity in three buildings in Tullins. With 40 CNC machines working in three shifts, SMOC is able to manufacture any kind of round or flat broach. In addition to new tools, SMOC also offers re-sharpening services, tool repair, management of tools, and technical assistance on site.

Profile grinding of the Christmas tree broaches at SMOC’s production facility in Tullins, France.

Looking ahead to 2019, SMOC is scheduled to open a new re-sharpening center in China and strives to expand its presence in the United States. SMOC will look to rely on the OSG global network to continue to strengthen its international expansion.

April 2016 – AMAMCO Tool in the United States

AMAMCO Tool, located in Duncan, South Carolina, was founded in 1972. As of April 2016, the company operates as a subsidiary of OSG USA, Inc. AMAMCO Tool is a custom, cutting tool manufacturer that designs and produces application-specific cutting tools primarily for the aerospace and composite industries. Core products include drills for hand, CNC and advanced drilling units (ADU). The company also manufactures high quality diamond coated routers and drills currently used by all major and Tier 1 aerospace manufactures in the United States and abroad.

AMAMCO Tool in Duncan, South Carolina, USA. AMAMCO is well known for manufacturing combination drills, countersinks, counter bore and high-quality reamers.

With a passion for quality and service forged in its foundation, AMAMCO currently has a work force approaching 100 with an average tenure of over 11 years. As AMAMCO continues to grow, the company plans to further expand its production floor space in the next 12 to 18 months in addition to its existing 35,000-square-feet manufacturing facility.

AMAMCO compression router with cutting edge geometry design, using two opposing flutes configured to sandwich composite layers together, that eliminated delamination. A diamond coating is also applied to the cutting surface using, at the time, a recently developed chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process.

AMAMCO helped develop innovations on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner development project, a success that has helped to carryover to supply contracts on the 777, 737 and other aircraft production lines. Due to its success at Lockheed, Boeing and other manufacturers, and while competing against much larger, international companies, AMAMCO consistently achieved excellence in providing superior tools and technical services. Winning many critical contracts, the company often achieved “single source” supplier status for its many custom prints and designs, acquiring exclusive production relationships.

AMAMCO’s flute grinding department. AMAMCO Tool was built to offer alternatives to the more commonly mass-produced, ‘off-the-shelf’ cutting tools, while contributing innovative custom development and prototype solutions.

AMAMCO is proud to be a part of the OSG family of companies and looks forward to a long and productive future, providing innovative solutions to the aerospace and wide variety of the many other industries OSG and AMAMCO serve.

September 2015 – Desgranges Holding S.A.S. in France

Established in 1946, Desgranges is a French manufacturer of standard and special cutting tools, and supplies to major French contractors in civil and military aviation, automotive and high-tech related sectors. Its primary efforts are focused on the machining of hard materials, the assembly and machining of composite materials and stacks, and services associated with the cutting tool life cycle.

Desgranges Cutting Tools in Andrézieux-Bouthéon, France. Desgranges is a French manufacturer of standard and customized cutting tools for sectors including civil and military aviation, automotive and high-tech industry.

Located in Andrézieux Bouthéon Cedex, France, Desgranges currently employs 81 staff and has a 3,000-square-meter production capacity. From Concorde to the A350, Desgranges has always been heavily involved in the manufacture of cutting tools for the aeronautical industry. This extensive experience has given rise to the creation of Nexam in 2005, a brand of tools specifically for assembling airframes.In 2008, Desgranges Cutting Tools became a strategic supplier for Airbus. In September 2015, Desgranges Cutting Tools sold 100 percent of its shares to OSG. The acquisition allows OSG to further expand its operations in Europe while the Desgranges group is supplied with valuable means to accelerate product development.

Batch of Desgranges special cutting tools.

To enhance growth and to provide the best possible aerospace solutions for manufacturers, OSG actively participates in strategic collaborations and partnerships. Each of OSG’s subsidiaries are equipped with unique strengths and offer their own special products. With these new innovative partners, OSG will strive to continue to aid manufacturers shape the future flight path of aerospace technology.