Northern Irish aerospace companies to attend AIX

Three Northern Ireland based companies are set to highlight supply chain excellence, and the value of Northern Ireland’s thriving aerospace manufacturing sector to the global market, at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), which takes place in Hamburg from 28-30 May.

Bradfor, the Exact Group and IPC Mouldings have, for several years, come together to attend the event, showcasing how they work in collaboration to ensure Northern Ireland is regarded as a reliable supply chain to the global aerospace sector, providing quality high value-added products and services, cost-effectively and on time using excellent logistical services.

As an extension of their customer, each company has a different offering covering soft furnishings, metals and plastics with everything in between; Rostrevor based, Bradfor is a leading textiles manufacturer using the latest materials and innovations to make everything from seat covers to life vest pouches; Newry based, The Exact Group is a leading engineering business specialising in high precision manufacturing and highly cosmetic protective painted and specialised finishings, whereas IPC Mouldings is one of the specialists when it comes to technical plastic components and high level engineered assemblies. 

With one in three of the world’s aircraft seats being produced in Northern Ireland, and companies such as Boeing among the global original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and Tier 1 companies benefitting from working with the province’s aerospace sector, the collaboration between local companies such as Bradfor, The Exact Group and IPC Mouldings, is key to ensuring they are the ‘go to’ supply chain company of choice for the global market.

Through a combination of investment in advanced technology, improved communication, and innovation, using a local supply chain based in Northern Ireland also means less risk on logistics for its end customers, as well as a lower manufacturing carbon footprint, which is of particular importance given the growing emphasis on sustainability within the aerospace sector.

Patricia Clements, managing director at Bradfor Ltd said, “As an SME, we are proud to service the global aerospace market from our base in Rostrevor. We offer a range of innovative textile products including seat covers, life vest pouches, diaphragms, straps and general upholstery. By returning to and exhibiting at this year’s AIX Expo alongside The Exact Group and IPC Mouldings, and having the opportunity to showcase some of our bespoke products on the Invest Northern Ireland (NI) stand, it gives us an excellent opportunity to speak first-hand to aerospace industry leaders and decision makers about our high-quality seating and textile products.

“Northern Ireland is a global hub for the aerospace interiors’ sector and by working collectively and individually, local companies can demonstrate why we are at the fore of supply chain excellence.  We are being recognised as a trusted supply chain by some of the world’s biggest buyers in the aerospace sector.”

Invest NI will be hosting Bradfor, the Exact Group and IPC Mouldings on its exhibition stand at the AIX Expo. It is keen to foster collaboration among non-competing SMEs as it promotes the idea, at AIX and beyond, of a cabin furnishings ecosystem in the province.  For the companies themselves, it gives them the chance to move up the value chain by offering a systems solution to a potential customer, rather than simply a collection of components and services.

The Exact Group’s managing director, Stephen Cromie, commented, “We are looking forward to attending this year’s AIX Expo. By collaborating with companies such as Bradfor Ltd and IPC Mouldings, we have had the opportunity to share knowledge and prepare together for the exhibition.

“As a specialist engineering company based in Newry, by coming together with the other companies, we can provide an enhanced offering, delivering to global OEMs and being part of the supply chain excellence within Northern Ireland.  

“At The Exact Group, we have invested extensively in our capabilities and technology, including the industry-leading, Cerakote thin film ceramic coating technology, which in turn allows us to offer more choice and higher quality products to our clients in the aerospace sector, which gives them the best confidence in our service and delivery.”

The final company in the trio of collaborators, IPC Mouldings, is an award-winning SC21 Gold supply chain excellence partner, which offers a range of specialist skills and services from mould tool design and manufacture to the production of injection moulded parts and engineered assemblies for the most demanding of applications.

Joanne Liddle, Managing Director of IPC Mouldings said, “We are on the countdown to this year’s AIX Expo and through our continued partnerships with Bradfor Ltd and The Exact Group, we have ensured we are at the forefront of the aerospace sector’s interior aircraft needs. 

“From our base in Carrickfergus, IPC Mouldings has invested in new technology and focussed on our quality management to help our customers solve problems, reduce costs, and assure quality from our products.

“For such a small place, Northern Ireland really does deliver when it comes to the production of aircraft interiors, with major aerospace corporations depending on the supply chain excellence of the province. We are delighted to once again be collaborating with Bradfor Ltd and The Exact Group.”

Exhibiting as part of Invest NI’s stand (7B42) at the expo, Bradfor, The Exact Group and IPC Mouldings will have the opportunity to meet with some of the top 70 global airlines alongside major OEMs, as they look to shape the future of the passenger experience – and show what Northern Ireland has to offer.

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