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Boeing opens new factory in Sheffield
Boeing has welcomed guests from industry, government, partners, suppliers and the local community to celebrate the opening of its new fabrication factory in Sheffield.
The new factory, the company’s first manufacturing site in Europe, makes actuation system components for the 737 and 767 passenger jets from raw materials sourced in the UK.
At full capacity, Boeing Sheffield will produce thousands of parts each month, which will be shipped for assembly in Boeing’s Portland plant in Oregon, United States.
Jenette Ramos, Boeing senior vice president of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations said: “We appreciate all the community support for Boeing’s new advanced manufacturing factory in the UK. This is a fabulous example of how we are engaging global talent to provide greater value to our customers. In Boeing Sheffield, we are building on longstanding relationships and the region’s manufacturing expertise to enhance our production system and continue to connect, protect, explore and inspire aerospace innovation.”
Boeing Sheffield manufactures more than 100 different high-tech actuation components for the 737 and 767 wing trailing edge. Actuation systems move the flaps at the back of the wing to provide extra lift at low speeds during takeoff and landing. The 6,200-square-metre facility represents a Boeing investment of more than £40 million, placing the world’s largest aerospace company at the heart of Sheffield City Region’s growing Global Innovation Corridor. A total of 52 employees, including experienced mechanics, engineers and more than 20 apprentices, make up the current Boeing Sheffield team.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP added: “Boeing choosing the heart of South Yorkshire as its first European home is testament to our capabilities, talent pool and strong manufacturing supply chains which are vital to job creation and creating value for local economies.
“We are leading the world in UK aerospace manufacturing and through our modern Industrial Strategy, we, along with industry have committed to invest £3.9 billion in aerospace”
Dan Jarvis MP, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, concluded: “It’s excellent news that Boeing has opened its first European factory here in the Sheffield City Region. Boeing’s choice of location is a strong sign of confidence in our advanced engineering excellence, confidence in our workforce and strong manufacturing heritage, and confidence in the cutting-edge collaborations between university and business that enable us to lead the world.
“Boeing Sheffield will also be a key part of our region’s ‘Global Innovation Corridor’, creating a connected set of research and business interactions based on the advanced manufacturing and engineering strengths we have here in the region, and linking people, places and ideas. The opportunities for our communities, for businesses, for researchers and for the workforce of the future are limitless.
“This opening of this new facility is hugely significant for South Yorkshire, the wider Northern Powerhouse, and indeed for the UK.”
The company chose to highlight 13 UK-based suppliers who have partnered with Boeing on this significant expansion in the UK. Amongst the suppliers, Aeromet International Ltd, a Worcester-based supplier of advanced aluminium and magnesium cast parts will provide Boeing Sheffield with high-strength, complex and multi-core aluminium cast parts. In addition, Maher Ltd, a first-time supplier to Boeing, will supply bespoke steel bar and pre-machined components made of UK-sourced steel from Liberty Speciality Steels, located three miles from the new Boeing factory.
Also recognised was MetLase Ltd, a first-time supplier to Boeing, which is based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in Rotherham and which is Boeing Sheffield’s tooling and fixturing partner. Mettis Aerospace Ltd, a designer and manufacturer of precision forged and machined components from Redditch, will supply Boeing Sheffield with steel alloy precision-forged components. The other partners are AMRC Training Centre, D5 Architects, JF Finnegan, Mills CNC, Mitutoyo, Mott MacDonald, Nikken, Starrag and WFL.
Boeing established a presence in South Yorkshire in 2001 when the company co-founded the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with the University of Sheffield in Rotherham. Boeing Sheffield is a direct result of this longstanding and successful relationship with the AMRC and its world-class research and development. The company has initiated a major new research programme with the AMRC to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied to the new Boeing Sheffield facility.