Having secured agreements with airlines to equip well over 1,200 aircraft with inflight high-speed Internet – and with many more deals in the works – Panasonic needed to quickly bolster antenna output. Over the past nine months the company spent several million dollars to build its state-of-the-art, in-house antenna manufacturing facility on site at its headquarters in Lake Forest, California.
“Our Lake Forest Facility will produce 10 units this month. We expect that number to quickly increase to 15 and then again increase quickly to 20 units per month,” Panasonic Avionics VP, global communications David Bruner tells the APEX editor’s blog.
He reveals that Panasonic intends to double the size of the facility and its investment in the coming months.
Even though Panasonic is manufacturing its own antennas, partner EMS – now Honeywell – will continue to manufacture antennas for the company until Panasonic’s facility is operating at full production capacity.
“By March 2013, we will have the capacity in place to produce 50 antennas per month,” says Bruner.
Customers of eXConnect include Cathay Pacific, Gulf Air, Lufthansa, SAS, Turkish Airlines and United Airlines.
Last month I had an opportunity to step inside Panasonic’s new manufacturing facility. Now you can see this complex operation by clicking on the video below.