The new facility, the result of a Boeing investment of more than £20 million, is part of a broader plan by Boeing to begin in-house manufacturing of key actuation components and systems in the U.S. and the UK to enhance production efficiency and reduce cost in its supply chain.
Boeing’s new UK facility, to be named Boeing Sheffield, will produce actuators in Boeing’s first manufacturing facility in Europe, supporting global growth and competitiveness for one of the world’s largest aerospace companies and enabling access to UK talent and capability. Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ (BCA) facility in Portland, Oregon, U.S., will also produce actuators and assemble actuation systems for these models as a new work statement.
“The UK provides Boeing with the talent and infrastructure we need to grow and maintain a high level of productivity and quality to meet our significant order book,” said Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing U.K. and Ireland. “We are proud to expand our relationship with the UK still further with Boeing Sheffield. Our decision to start manufacturing high-value components in the UK is a step-change in our engagement and a further example of Boeing’s commitment to grow here, supporting the UK’s long-term prosperity.”
Boeing Sheffield will employ approximately 30 people when it opens as part of BCA’s fabrication operations and will work closely with Boeing Portland, a company Centre of Excellence for complex machining, gear systems and flight controls. The establishment of Boeing Sheffield will also open up new opportunities for UK suppliers to bid for work.
Subject to local authority and other relevant planning permissions, the proposed 2,300m2 Boeing Sheffield facility will be built alongside The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC), a world-class machining and materials research campus founded in 2001 by Boeing and the University of Sheffield.
“This announcement is the culmination of a successful relationship that has developed since the AMRC was founded and reinforces that our region is a leading location for high-value advanced manufacturing,” said Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, executive dean of the AMRC with Boeing. “We look forward to supporting Boeing and continuing to ensure that U.K. manufacturers remain competitive, through access to our expertise here at the AMRC.”
Boeing expects to recruit UK employees for the site as early as 2018, capitalising on the skilled workforce in Sheffield as well as the AMRC’s capabilities. Boeing also plans to initiate a major R&D programme with the AMRC to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied in the new Boeing Sheffield facility.