LOS ANGELES The problems
that have grounded Boeing Co.s 787 Dreamliners
havent hurt Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI), the
companys top executive said this week.
"We have not seen any demand
impact for our products due to (the Dreamliners) current
operating issues," ATI chairman, president and chief executive
officer Richard Harshman said.
Most of the approximately 50
Dreamliners that Boeing has delivered so far have been grounded
due to potential fire hazards associated their lithium
batteries. Boeing has said that it wont deliver any more
787s until a Federal Aviation Administration probe is resolved.
However, a Boeing spokesman stressed to AMM that
despite the recent suspension of deliveries, "production of the
787 continues" (
, Jan. 23).
Pittsburgh-based ATI is one of
three global titanium producers that supply mill products under
long-term supply agreements with the Chicago-based aerospace
companys Boeing Commercial Airplanes subsidiary. The
other producers are Portland, Ore.-based Precision Castparts
Corp.s Titanium Metals Corp. subsidiary in Dallas and
Verkhnaya Salda, Russia-based VSMPO-Avisma Corp.
While these producers supply
titanium for all of Boeings airliners, the 787 by far
consumes the largest amount of metal on a per-plane basis.
Meanwhile, titanium shipments
for ATIs High Performance Metals group, which includes
Monroe, N.C.-based long products unit ATI Allvac Inc., topped
5.7 million pounds in the fourth quarter. Thats up 1.1
percent from the same period a year earlier, due mainly to
higher demand from airframe customers, which offset lower
volume from the jet engine aftermarket, the company said this
The groups average
titanium price fell 5.2 percent in the same comparison to
$22.65 per pound due to a decline in raw material surcharges,
Shipments of flat-rolled
titanium products, which include ATIs non-aerospace Uniti
LLC joint venture with VSMPO-Avisma in Moon Township, Pa., rose
22 percent quarter on quarter to 3.2 million pounds in the
fourth quarter, as shipments for previously delayed projects
began, ATI said. While the company didnt identify the
projects, they are believed to include shipments of pipe skelp
for Middle Eastern desalination facilities.