The study and design of a national supply chain for the aerospace titanium components manufacturing industry
CITATION: Van der Merwe, L., Ruthven, G. A. & Von Leipzig, K. 2012. The study and design of a national supply chain for the aerospace titanium components manufacturing industry. Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management, 6(1):15-34, doi:10.4102/jtscm.v6i1.29.
The original publication is available at http://www.jtscm.co.za
Titanium’s strength-to-density ratio, corrosion resistance and high thermal compatibility makes it the perfect metal for aerospace. Titanium is for instance used for the structural airframe, seat tracks, engine components and landing gear of aircraft. The Boeing 787 that had its test flight in 2009 is one of the latest aircraft designs that incorporates a substantially higher percentage of parts manufactured from titanium due to the weight benefit. Titanium’s extensive use in aerospace applications ensures that the aerospace market is the main driver of titanium metal demand. South Africa is the second largest titanium producer in the world after Australia. The abundance of titanium in South Africa together with the growing demand has led it to be identified as a beneficiation priority in a collaborative government initiative, called Titanium Beneficiation Initiative (TBI). The purpose of this paper is to develop a supply chain model for the anticipated South African titanium component manufacturing industry.