Aeromet International, a leading supplier of airframe and aero engine components has expanded its relationship with Boeing by securing the biggest set of orders in the company’s 40-year history. According to Aeromet, it has been awarded a new contract to supply parts to Boeing’s next generation 777X aircraft, alongside extensions to existing long-term agreements covering the supply of parts for 737, 767 and 777s.
Aeromet specialises in aluminium and magnesium cast parts, employing 260 staff at sites in Worcester, Rochester and Sittingbourne. It supplies aerospace and defence customers with a range of airframe and aero engine components Including fuel system components, wing tips, doors and heat exchangers.
New parts for the 777X contract will be made using A20X®, Aeromet’s proprietary aluminium alloy and reportedly the strongest aluminium casting alloy on the market.
The key to Aeromet’s success was support from the government-backed Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme, designed to raise the productivity and competitiveness of the UK aerospace supply chain. The productivity improvements achieved as part of this programme were pivotal to Aeromet securing an extension to its existing contracts in the face of global competition.
The UK’s aerospace industry is expected to continue to flourish thanks to increasing global demand for high-quality UK manufactured aerospace products, according to a new report from Santander and EEF. Continued growth in air travel, particularly in emerging economies, as well as demand for hi-tech parts for spacecraft, rockets and satellites is set to fuel growth in the UK aerospace sector.
The UK is the second-largest aerospace manufacturer in the world behind the US, and fourth largest aerospace exporter. The industry specialises predominantly in engines and parts or aircraft, which account for almost 80% of all exports.
The sector is highly export-intensive with 53% of Gross Value Added travelling overseas – the highest of any UK manufacturing sector – worth £28.4bn in 2016, an increase of 114% since 2002. Eight out of 10 of the UK’s top export markets are located outside of the EU, with the US the UK’s top market (worth £5.8bn in 2016). It employs 107,000 people in the UK and is made up of around 2,400 separate businesses (up four-fold since 2008).
Over the coming two decades, emerging markets represent the greatest source of growth for UK aerospace- and none more so than China. Rising incomes, a growing middle class and reduced visa requirements have resulted in air passenger numbers rising from 67 million in 2000 to 320 million in 2016 (up 378%).
Additional key industry trends benefiting UK aerospace:
Factory of the Future/ 3D printing – New designs and equipment are evolving at a rapid pace in the digital age, bringing with them improvements in performance, productivity and safety. The UK’s established, world-class leadership in design and innovation will be central to growth.
Use of composites – Over the coming decade, the use of composite materials in aircraft manufacturing Is expected to rise significantly The global composite materials market is expected to reach £27 billion by 2024.
Space tourism – Space tourism is a new, highly sought after sector globally. In the UK, this is underpinned by the government’s ambitions for the UK to capture a greater share of the market, worth an estimated £25bn over the next 20 years.