TITANIUM EUROPE Conference Speakers Spell-Out Trends for World Supply & Demand
Monday, June 5, 2017
International Titanium Association (ITA), Denver, Colorado USA, hosted the fifth annual TITANIUM EUROPE 2017 conference and exhibition on 17-19th May at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Conference speakers shared their outlooks and insights on titanium world supply and demand, the global supply chain, near-term business conditions and trends, new manufacturing technologies and the dynamics of industrial markets. A total of 398 delegates from 30 countries attended the gathering.
During the session “World Titanium Industry Demand Trends,” Henry Seiner, Timet vice president of business strategy, outlined “Trends in the Defense Market: A Titanium Perspective.” Seiner, who also serves as president of the ITA’s board of directors, said that, based on market analysis and projected Teal Group build rates, Timet forecasts that titanium demand from the global defense market will reach around 16,000 metric tons in 2021, up from an estimated 15,000 metric tons this year.
For all military aircraft, which includes fighter, transports, helicopters and light attack/trainer, deliveries will be about 1,700 units each year between 2017 and 2025. The number of deliveries for the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F35 is expected to peak at 160 planes in 2024, dipping slightly to 156 planes in 2025. He noted that the forecasts are subject to change and revision due to global uncertainty—tense situations involving the Korean peninsula, the Middle East, Brexit, and relations between the United States, Russia and China.
Wade Leach, senior vice president-commercial for ATI Specialty Materials, examined “Titanium Demand and Trends in the Jet Engine Market.” A chart presented by Leach projected that commercial jet engines deliveries from original equipment manufacturers would peak at around 4,000 units by the year 2019, and then fall to 3,500 units in 2020, slightly above engine deliveries anticipated this year. Engine manufacturers accounting for the most deliveries include CFM International, the General Electric/Safran Aircraft Engines joint venture; Pratt & Whitney; Rolls Royce; and GE.
Key trends for the development of next-generation aero engines will include advances in “Green” technology and additive manufacturing, enhanced fuel efficiency (with elevated engine temperatures and increased thrust), and lower operating costs, according to Leach. Titanium will continue to find applications in jet engine fans (along with composites); low-pressure and high-pressure compressors; and low-pressure turbines (gamma titanium aluminides).
Raphaël Duflos, the lead buyer for Airbus SAS and vice president of metallic materials procurement, reviewed “Titanium Aerospace Demand and the Integrated Supply Chain.” The presentation, in essence, was a call to action for all companies participating in the Airbus global supply chain. In order to secure a stable, long-term supply of titanium, Airbus will unveil its “2021 Global Call for Tender” at the end of this year. The “way forward,” as stated by Duflos, will involve a systematic “de-risking” of the supply chain in order to achieve operational excellence and supplier development. One element of this will be to deploy “lean initiatives” to upgrade processes in the supply chain.
The Airbus A350 platform will serve as the “key driver for growing opportunities for titanium introduction into the Airbus supply chain,” Duflos declared, adding that “titanium is key for Airbus.” Each working day Airbus manufacturing requires over 30 tons of titanium.
Michael Metz, the president of VSMPO Tirus US, addressed the Russian titanium market, with a forecast indicating that annual Russian demand will remain virtually constant each year between 2017 and 2021 at a level of around 10,000 metric tons. The Russian aerospace sector makes up roughly 60 percent of the annual demand levels.
Metz, who has served on the ITA’s board of directors since 2007, offered further details on the Russian aerospace market, showing a bar chart that indicated engine and aircraft building will account for much of the demand, followed by smaller shares for rocket and helicopter production. Engine and aircraft building reflected 55 percent of overall Russian titanium demand in 2016, followed by 20 percent for ship building. The 25-percent balance in the overall market for 2016 includes categories such as power engineering and chemical processing.
He also provided a snapshot of Russian sponge production in 2016, with Avisma registering an output of about 350,000 metric tons, compared with 2,000 metric tons for SMW.
The talk by Jeremy Halford, president of Arconic Titanium and Engineered Products, focused on “Driving Growth Through Innovation – World Demand Trends in Airframes.” Halford began by reviewing the “era of design,” saying that, for commercial aerospace, the thrust for last 10 years has been on development and the introduction of new designs and technology. “As a result, there were an unprecedented number of recently or soon-to-be introduced models,” he said, mentioning planes such as the A320neo and A330neo; the 777X, 787 and he 350-XWB.
However, Halford suggested that aerospace has now moved into an “era of delivery. Today’s top two questions: how will we manage the transition to new airframe and engine platforms?; and how can we profitably deliver the backlog?” The answer, he said, is innovation in materials and processes.
The aerospace industry forecasts a need for 40,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years, with an estimated dollar value of $5.9 trillion. To meet this demand, titanium and composites, as critical aerospace materials, will see a compound annual growth rate of 4 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively, through the year 2020. Halford anticipated that titanium’s innovations for solving customer challenges during this time frame will involve improvements in fine-grain sheet, high-temperature alloys, near-net extrusions, titanium aluminides and additive manufacturing technology.
A complete overview of the most recent TITANIUM Conferences are available for download on the ITA Website. Furthermore, Video Conference Proceedings are also available to the public through the Website.
TITANIUM USA 2017 will be held October 8-11, 2017 at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida just outside of Miami.
A new conference organized by the ITA, TITANIUM ASIA 2018 will be held February 4-6, 2018 in Singapore at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, the same week as the Singapore Air Show.
The Melia Sevilla Hotel in Seville, Spain will be the site of TITANIUM EUROPE 2018, May 14-16, 2018 which includes an industry tour of the Airbus M400 Assembly Line.