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Precision Castparts Buying Aerostructures Specialist

May 7, 2012
Centra produces machined aluminum, titanium, specialty metal airframe components

Precision Castparts Corp. is buying a Canadian machining and fabricating operation that concentrates on aerostructures, a market segment that has been one of PCP’s expansion targets in recent years. Centra Industries, Cambridge, ON, produces various machined airframe components and assemblies, in aluminum and hard metals. It lists multi-axes, high-velocity machining of complex aluminum structures; multi-axes, high-torque machining of specialty hard-to-machine aircraft alloys (titanium, Inconel, hardened steels); and assembly of major aircraft substructures, among its core competencies.

Portland, OR-based Precision Castparts manufactures investment castings (PCC Structurals, PCC Airfoils) for aerospace structures and airfoils; and forgings (Wyman Gordon, Hackney Ladish, Special Metals) for aerospace and industrial gas turbines. It also produces fasteners for airframes and aerospace engines. In recent years it has expanded the range of its manufacturing operations to include welding, extrusion, and various fabricating processes as it invests in aerospace and energy markets.

The cost of the all-cash Centra takeover was not announced. Centra has been in business for nearly 40 years 1974, Centra has approximately 400 non-union workers at two plants in Cambridge, which is about 50 miles west of Toronto.

"The acquisition of Centra further grows our presence in the fragmented aerostructures market," stated PCP chairman Mark Donegan. "The business broadens the range of our core capabilities, which will enable us to position our expanding product line in the facility best suited to the job.

Last summer PCC paid $900 million for Primus International, a manufacturer of machined and fabricated aerospace components, saying then it aimed to expand in the market for metallic and composite airframe applications and aerostructures.

Donegan continued: “In addition, Centra has already established solid market share on growing commercial aircraft programs, such as the 787, 777, 747-8, and A380, and, in concert with our existing aerostructures operations, the opportunities for share gain are plentiful."

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)