International Component Repair (ICR), a Villa Rica commercial airframe and engine component repair facility, is joining forces with IHI Corporation of Japan to establish the first Japanese affiliated aerospace production facility in the United States.
The announcement was made at 11 a.m. Wednesday in a celebration at the Villa Rica facility, attended by officials of both companies, along with representatives of Carroll County Chamber of Commerce, city of Villa Rica, state of Georgia and local development authorities.
The 40,000-square-foot plant is located at 330 West Industrial Court, in the Highway 101, Villa Rica, industrial park. Production is scheduled to begin this fall.
“This is a perfect example of a project, and how it works for a community, and all the stakeholders who have worked together to make something like this occur,” said Daniel Jackson, chamber president/CEO. “This is a recognition of a successful industry locating here in Villa Rica.”
Jackson said the business represents both an expansion of local industry and the beginning of a joint venture with a Japanese firm.
“IHI is one of the most respected companies in aviation globally,” said Wayne Dewell, ICR president/CEO. “So it’s a great honor for us at ICR to be a partner with a company like IHI.”
Kaz Sato, IHI senior vice president, said the work to be performed at the Villa Rica plant will be repairing and rebuilding a valve in jet engines, which is used to divert cold aircraft fuel through the oil compartment to maintain the oil at the correct operating temperatures.
“How much cold fuel is required is determined by an onboard computer,” Sato said.
He said up until now, all the valve repair work has been done in IHI’s Tokyo plant, but now the Villa Rica facility will join in the work.
He said IHI has sold more than 4,000 jet engines, about 700 per year, and they are in use all over the world.
“We’re going to expand this facility in the future, so we anticipate doing many other engine repairs here,” Sato said. “I’m very proud to represent IHI in this endeavor and look forward to a long-term relationship with ICR and the Villa Rica community.”
He said the Villa Rica location was chosen because of its closeness to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and its proximity to the interstate highway system. He added that the area is blessed with good, highly educated aviation labor and good work ethics.
Dewell said the Villa Rica facility, where the work will be done, is in the beginning stages.
“We do have FAA approval and a lot of cement blocks, trusses and that type stuff in place in the back corner of the building,” he said. “The IHI team has finalized drawings for the valve. We’re building a valve stand, which is a $1.5 million piece of equipment, just to test this component. We have the office area about 95 percent complete. Our target date to ship the first valve is February 2013.”
Dewell said a team of ICR employees will leave Sunday for Tokyo, where they’re going to be trained in valve unit repair. He said an IHI team is coming to the Villa Rica plant on Oct. 22.
“Commercial aerospace ventures are viewed as the next exciting phase of innovation for the growth of this industry in Georgia, so we’re encouraged by the ICR and IHI collaboration,” said Chris Cummiskey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “We look forward to the growth of this joint venture and to the creation of additional meaningful work opportunities for Georgians. Aerospace remains a strategic industry for Georgia, so this decision helps to further position Georgia as a competitive location for all sectors of the aerospace industry.”
“The addition of quality job opportunities for our workforce is tremendous,” said Villa Rica Mayor J. Collins. “The fact that these jobs are in the high tech field of aerospace means great things for our citizens and strengthens our ability to create a positive live-work-play environment for our community.”
Both ICR and IHI have significant industry ties to Delta Air Lines and the client base at Hartsfield-Jackson.
IHI was founded in 1853 as a shipbuilding company after a visit from Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy. It entered the aviation and automotive industries in the 1920s, began building jet engines in 1943 and entered the commercial engine business in 1983. IHI now has more than 26,000 employees with offices in 14 countries, along with 19 facilities in Japan. Corporate headquarters are in Tokyo, with a major subsidiary office in New York City.
ICR was founded in 2002 as an approved FAA repair station, holding an EASA 145.5663 certificate. Dewell, company founder, has more than 42 years experience in commercial aviation, most notably with Delta in Atlanta.
ICR specializes in repair of commercial aerospace airframe and engine components, such as tubes, ducts, manifolds, brackets, hardware, engine mounts, engine mount components, mechanical components and fan blade platforms. The company currently has 31 employees with a global outreach of 102 customers in 16 countries.