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Boeing has signed a memorandum of agreement with composite supplier Toray Industries to expand its current contract for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to include the 777X wings.
In 2013, Boeing spent more than $4 billion on goods and services in Japan. Including this agreement for the 777X composite wing, Boeing expects to purchase an additional $36 billion of goods and services locally by the end of the decade, supporting tens of thousands of aerospace jobs.Accordingly, the companies signed a memorandum of agreement confirming that the two companies will negotiate extension of the existing comprehensive agreement (signed in November 2005) to supply prepreg for the 787 Dreamliner with aim to extend its contract period for more than ten years and to include 777X to the supply scope, targeting to reach a final agreement by the end of this year. The total value of prepreg Toray Group will supply for both 787 and 777X programs for the contract period is expected to exceed 1 trillion yen. Under the memorandum, Toray and Boeing also confirm that the two companies would negotiate an agreement to promote joint development in a wide range of fields including design, materials and parts production to further increase application of carbon fiber composite materials in the aerospace field. The 777X aircraft is a large-sized twin-engine passenger aircraft currently being developed by Boeing as a successor to the existing 777, with a plan to deliver the first plane in 2020. The company is currently constructing a plant dedicated for manufacturing the main wings using carbon fiber composite material within the premises of its Everett plant in Washington, U.S. Toray’s TORAYCA prepreg has been selected for these main wings. As for 787, TORAYCA prepreg has been used from the beginning for part of the primary structural members such as its main wings and body of 787. With Boeing planning to raise the number of 787 aircraft being produced every month from the current 10 planes to 12 per month in 2016 and 14 per month by the end of the decade, and the ratio of larger models also expected to increase, the demand for composite materials also is expected to increase.In response to the planned 787 production increase to 12 planes a month, the company has been working on expansion of prepreg production facilities at its U.S. subsidiary Toray Composites (America), and the new facilities are expected to start operation in January 2016. Given the order increase, the company plans to soon finalize a plan to newly construct an integrated production line for yarn (precursor), carbon fiber TORAYCA and prepreg in the commercial premise it acquired in February 2014 in Spartanburg County, South Carolina (total site area: about 1.6 million m2).Under the new medium-term management program Project AP-G 2016 launched in April 2014, the company plans to drive forward exponential expansion of the aerospace applications in the composite materials business. The above contract extension by Boeing is in line with the plan. Toray will continue to expand its stable material supply system conforming with Boeing’s plan to increase output and pursue sophistication of its business structure and profit expansion.More information: www.boeing.com - www.toray.com