Aerospace News, November 2018

Aerospace companies gathered earlier this month to learn and share stories of how the Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme is radically transforming the productivity of the British aerospace sector.


Greg Clarke, the BEIS Secretary and one of the conference’s keynote speakers, said SiG’s cooperation with the aerospace sector showed that ‘when industry and government work together, you can crack problems that were insuperable.’


“Sharing in Growth continues to deliver exceptional results – securing contracts worth more than £3bn, boosting productivity, creating quality jobs and helping companies grow by five times the industry average. The UK Is a world leader in aerospace manufacturing and this programme is a fantastic example of our modern Industrial Strategy in action – bringing the Government and industry together to build on our excellent reputation and ensure we reap the rewards or future opportunities.”


According to SiG, companies that have participated in their programme have grown their productivity at five-times the national average. Since 2008, productivity has increased by only 0-2% per annum compared to 2% a year pre-crisis.




A Scottish family firm and sharing in growth beneficiary Castle Precision Engineering has signed a contract valued at £80m with Rolls-Royce on a six-year programme. The new agreement will see Castle Precision Engineering supply Rolls-Royce with compressor cones, shafts, spacers, and turbine seal plates for the Trent family of aero engines.


Yan Tiefenbrun, managing director of Castle Precision, said: “To significantly grow our activity with Rolls-Royce, a giant in the global aerospace industry, is a privilege and a fantastic endorsement of the high-quality precision engineering work we deliver here in the UK.”


With the support of Sharing in Growth (SiG) & Scottish Enterprise, Castle Precision has embarked on a business change journey that has transformed the organisation’s approach to people and productivity and delivered leaner operations.

With the support of Sharing in Growth (SiG) & Scottish Enterprise, Castle Precision has embarked on a business change journey that has transformed the organisation’s approach to people and productivity and delivered leaner operations.


The introduction of manufacturing cells has led to major reductions in lead-time and improvements in productivity have underpinned the business’ ability to secure contracts of this scale in a globally competitive environment.


Yan noted: “SiG show you what good looks like and give you a framework for what an apt business model looks like. When you’re growing and you’re so focused on the daily grind, having that direction of where you’re going towards is really useful.”


Castle Precision employs 120 people and manufactures components for a variety of industries including aerospace, petrochemicals, defence, and the automotive sector. It was set up by Yan Tiefenbrun’s grandfather Jack Tiefenbrun, a refugee from Europe.


Its early success derived on the back of orders from the Singer Sewing Machine Company, which employed 10,000 people in Clyde side at its height.


In 2013, the company was selected for Sharing in Growth – a £110m training programme that was set up to enhance the skills and capability of British aerospace companies.


It provides an intensive, four-year capability development training schedule which is tailored to suit each company’s specific needs. It is supported by some of the most prominent aerospace companies, including Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, and Rolls-Royce, along with public bodies like the Regional Growth Fund.




The economic development agency West Midlands Growth Company says Birmingham Airport Draft Master Plan will boost manufacturing in the region. West Midlands economic development agency has welcomed a £500m expansion plan by Birmingham Airport and says it will boost manufacturing in the region. The West Midlands has firmly established itself as the UK’s driver of growth, fostering centres of excellence in business and leading the country’s traditional sectors – such as manufacturing and engineering. The region lies on the cusp of a period of great economic growth, supported by major infrastructure projects such as HS2, that will help attract more people and investment than ever before. To realise this potential, we are committed to working with our partners at Birmingham Airport to showcase the region to the world.


The Draft Master Plan, which explores the airport’s expansion plans in the fifteen-year period to 2033, includes improving the airport’s public transport connections, enhancing airport security, and increasing the number of aircraft parking stands and ancillary facilities. The airport is aiming to have 18 million passengers a year by 2033, up from 13 million per year currently. Passenger numbers already rose by 43% in the five years to 2017.






The plan’s authors say the airport expansion proposals reflect the West Midlands’ burgeoning economic status: “Our ambition matches the region’s dynamism, which is attracting employers, such as Jaguar Land Rover, from high growth sectors including advanced manufacturing and engineering, life sciences and renewable energy.”


Many in the automotive sector welcomed the plans, including Jaguar Land Rover, whose Solihull factory is adjacent to the airport. Rolls Royce’s Director of Economic Development Paul Harris said transport infrastructure was paramount to the firm’s success:


“As a leading industrial technology company, connecting with our supply chain regionally and globally is critical to our success. We therefore welcome increased transport infrastructure investment in the Midlands that enables increased capacity, faster connections and improved journey reliability.”


Birmingham Airport is the seventh busiest airport in the UK, just behind Edinburgh airport, but far fewer than Heathrow and Gatwick, who handled 123 million passengers between them last year.


Though Birmingham airport’s full potential capacity is 30 million annual passengers, its flight numbers are limited by strict NATS guidelines on the airport’s runway capacity during the early morning departures peak throughout the summer.


Aston University’s David Bailey says expansion limits mean “at the moment, business executives and sales people often have to fly via London. Connecting Birmingham globally should help the local economy.”


Expansion at Birmingham Airport will strongly benefit Midlands manufacturers he said, because they “could do with more long-range flights direct to growth markets like China. That could boost both exports and inward investment.”


The West Midlands had a total of 305,000 manufacturing jobs as of March 2018, 10% of the region’s total workforce. The transport and metal sectors are the largest manufacturing sub-sectors in the region. The nearby Jaguar Land Rover factory in Solihull employs 9,000 staff and recently underwent a £1.5bn makeover and is large enough to cover 22 football pitches.

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