Don't take this lightly, getting nickel and titanium in the aerospace business is next to impossible right now. Items that used to have 2 week lead times now have 15 month lead times unless you have a stock of the metal on hand. Vendors who used to be happy selling you one or two tons of the material now want to see multi-year contracts that
Airbus plans to announce as early as today that it has signed contracts valued at $1.4 billion to secure its supply of titanium through 2015, amid a world-wide race to lock in sources of valuable raw materials.
The European plane maker has finalized deals with RTI International Metals Inc. of Niles, Ohio, and OAO VSMPO-Avisma of Russia, two of the world's top processors of the strong, lightweight metal. Airbus also has struck a deal with Ust-Kamenogorsk Titanium-Magnesium Plant of Kazakhstan to supply titanium ore, which RTI will process. It will use the material for planes such as the A380 two-deck jetliner, company officials said.
Lightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 10681 posts, RR: 100 Reply 3, posted (7 years 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 779 times:
Quoting CF188A (Reply 1): I would consider this a good move by Airbus
Quoting Scbriml (Reply 2): Yes indeed, but hasn't Boeing just recently done the same thing?
Yes Boeing also recently secured titanium supplies for 2008+. However, I do know right now they are suffering with the rest scrambling to get titanium. Don't worry, commercial production is safe at its current level.
But right now, any heavy user of titanium is really having to consider the cost of increasing production due to the tight supplies. We secured our supplies about a year ago, but for some reason the press didn't catch onto our press release. Cest la vie. We got lucky. How? We decided to order further out than normal and found out the titanium just wasn't out there! So we secured our supplies (at great expense!). IIRC, titanium is currently going for 4X for long lead. If you want it on a short lead time... forget getting it in quantity in ideal forms.
With oil staying $70+/bbl... expect to see titanium consumption soar. It used to be that saving a kilogram of weight out of an aircraft was worth ~$500 (usd) when oil was ~$30/bbl. Now... No one is willing to put on a new price, but its probably worth ~$700 to $800/kg to save the weight due to the resulting fuel savings.