Boeing Commercial Airplanes chose Aeromet International Ltd. to supply complex aluminum castings it will process at its new plant Sheffield, England. Last year Boeing announced it will open its first European manufacturing operation in Sheffield to perform complex machining of gear systems and flight controls for the Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX, and 777 aircraft.
Aeromet, headquartered in Worcester, England, and casting aluminum and magnesium at three locations in the U.K., indicated its supply to Boeing Sheffield will be “high-strength, complex and multi-core aluminum cast parts.” Boeing’s new plant is being built near The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing, a machining and materials research campus founded in 2001.
“Aeromet are delighted to be supplying complex cast parts to Boeing’s new manufacturing facility in Sheffield,” according to chairman, Vardhan Rajkumar. "This new contract is an exciting development in our long-term relationship with Boeing and is testament to the hard work and dedication of our workforce.”
Other suppliers for the Sheffield operation named by Boeing include Mettis Aerospace Ltd. (steel forgings); Maher Ltd. (customized steel bars and pre-machined components); MetLase Ltd. (tooling and fixturing); and Nikken Kosakusho Europe Ltd. (high-precision tool-holders, cutting tools and tool presetting systems.)
The estimated $25-million plant is on schedule to open this year. The parts it will produce are described as actuation devices for the trailing edge of aircraft wings. Trailing edge actuation systems are responsible for extending and retracting wing flaps during different phases of flight. The flaps add lift that allow take-off and landing at lower speeds, and provide drag to help slow the aircraft.
Boeing indicated at the time of the project announcement that it aimed to increase its share of in-house manufacturing of “key actuation components and systems” in the U.S. and U.K. to improve production efficiency and lower supply-chain costs.
A Boeing component finishing plant at Portland, OR, will received components produced at Sheffield and assemble actuation systems for 737s and 777s.