Wednesday, June 14, 2017

News: SCR set for Boeing supply chain boost

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If any further confirmation were needed that Boeing selecting the Sheffield city region for a new manufacturing facility would be good for the area, the US aero giant has confirmed that direct spending with UK suppliers has tripled over the last six years to £2.1 billion.

Announced in February, the new facility, to be named Boeing Sheffield, will enable Boeing to bring the manufacture of key high-tech actuation components and systems used in the Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft in-house, enhancing production efficiency and reducing costs.

The result of a Boeing investment of more than £20m, will be the company's first manufacturing facility in Europe. It will employ approximately 30 people but has "strategic significance," not least because of Boeing's global recognition but in the 104 supply-chain jobs that are expected to be created as a result of the move.

Direct Boeing employment to support local airline, military and security customers has doubled since 2011, to 2,200. The company continues to grow, recruiting on average a new employee per day. The investment in the UK supports an estimated 16,500 jobs in the tier one UK supply chain, representing a rise of 80% over the same period.

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Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing UK and Ireland, said: "The partnership between the UK and Boeing is one of mutual benefit, driving economic growth and prosperity for both the UK and the US. Since 2011 Boeing has tripled its direct spending with UK suppliers and doubled the company's UK workforce to meet the needs of local airline, military and security customers.

"In the years to come, Boeing is committed to growing our engagement in the UK, working together with our employees, customers, suppliers and partners. Boeing continues to find significant talent and supply chain capability, a strong market and world-class partners in the UK."

With its aerospace business based in Seattle, Boeing was a co-founder of The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, which, from its base on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham, has grown to become an internationally renowned, world-class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value sectors.
The 25,000 sq ft facility will be built alongside the AMRC and Boeing also plans to initiate a major Research & Development programme with the AMRC to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied in the new Boeing Sheffield facility.

Construction of the facility, due to employ approximately 30 people when it opens, will commence later in 2017 with production coming on stream in late 2018.

Richard Mills, director of strategy at Boeing UK, said: "Once we had taken the decision to locate Boeing's first European manufacturing facility in South Yorkshire's Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District, it was all systems go. We had to ensure that the AMRC research capability was in place, that the City and City Region could assemble a support package to underpin the business case and that the supply chain potential we thought existed, was a reality.

"Sheffield City Council took the lead on working with the City Region to support our case for investment funding and turned that around extremely quickly. Acting as the interface with local partners greatly helped our own decision making processes."

The Sheffield City Region Combined Authority agreed a £5.75m grant from the Business Investment Fund to support the establishment of a production facility by Boeing.

Boeing UK website

Images: Boeing


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