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GKN Aerospace Expands Alabama Facility as Part of GEnx Program

  • Friday, 29th July 2005
  • Reading time: about 3 minutes

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GKN Aerospace is to expand its composite structures and assembly plant in Alabama by 120,000 sq. ft. following recent orders which include an award by GE Engines for the GEnx Engine Program.

The expansion will create an additional 250 jobs within GKN Aerospace and will increase GKN’s investment in the State of Alabama by $20M.

The news follows one month after GKN’s new aerospace facility was opened in the UK, which will initially produce wing spars for the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft and extend the application of composites in aircraft engines.

The GKN Aerospace Alabama facility supports programs for both civil and military markets by providing fixed wing and rotor aircraft composite structures and assemblies. Major programs include; Sikorsky’s Blackhawk helicopter, Airbus’ A330/340 & A380 jetliners, the F/A-22 Raptor for Lockheed Martin, and the new GEnx engine for GE.

“”This expansion signifies the commitment GKN has to the employees, community, and State of Alabama to continue bringing high quality manufacturing work into the area””, says Paul Cocker, Vice President and General Manager of GKN Aerospace – Alabama. “”We value our partnership with the State, City of Tallassee, and Elmore County Officials and thank them for their continued support on this project.””

“”Alabama’s economy is the strongest it has been in years and this latest industry expansion is another sign we’re on the right track'”” Governor Bob Riley said. “”On behalf of all Alabamians, I commend GKN and its leaders for this decision and I thank the company’s employees for their hard work and productivity.””

The Tallassee site is a GKN owned facility with 260,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing floor space. Expanding the site will provide additional lay-up and assembly operations for the high performance composite structures manufactured at the site.

Jay Fitzsimmons, President and CEO of GKN Aerospace – Aerostructures states: “”Our decision to expand in Alabama emphasises our commitment to our customers and reaffirms our commitment to Alabama and our workforce in providing a state-of-the-art manufacturing capability at competitive prices.””

GKN Aerospace was selected by General Electric Company (GE) to develop & manufacture the front fan containment case for the new GEnx Engine which will power the Boeing 787 airliner.

This will be the first fan containment case for a commercial aircraft programme to be manufactured entirely from composite materials and represents a further advance by GKN into the aero-engine sector.

It will benefit from GKN’s intensive composite technology development programme, which has led to new material and process developments which bring considerable cost benefits as well as dramatic improvements in product consistency and quality.

The GEnx engine is planned for certification in 2007.

Ground breaking on the new area will take place in the fall of 2005 with an estimated completion in the spring of 2007.

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