Boeing opened its first manufacturing site in Europe at Sheffield, England, where it will produce over 100 different components for 737 and 767 actuation systems — the devices that move flaps at the back of the aircraft wing to increase lift at low speeds during takeoff and landing.
According to earlier statements, the new plant will finish components that will be shipped to Boeing’s component finishing plant in Portland, Ore., where the actuation systems will be assembled.
The Sheffield plant is a 6,200-sq.m. operation that represents an investment of over £40 million ($50 million), and will employ 52 mechanics, engineers, and apprentices.
“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,” stated Jenette Ramos, Boeing senior vice president of Manufacturing, Supply Chain and Operations.
Boeing also listed a series of British manufacturers chosen to supply semi-finished parts for its product lines at Sheffield, including Aeromet International, Worcester, which will deliver “high-strength, complex, and multi-core aluminum cast parts”; Mettis Aerospace Ltd., Redditch, which will supply precision-forged alloy steel parts; and Maher, a machinist and distributor of nickel, titanium and copper-based alloy components.
Among the technology suppliers Boeing identified are MetLase, a joint-venture of Rolls-Royce and Unipart that produces tooling, fixturing, and components; NIKKEN Kosakusho Europe Ltd., which will provide high-precision tool-holders, cutting tools and tool presetting devices; Mills CNC; Mitutoyo, Mott MacDonald; Starrag; and WFL.
Boeing has conducted technology research in the region since 2001, at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with the University of Sheffield in Rotherham. Currently, it is researching manufacturing techniques that may be applied at the Boeing Sheffield plan.