GKN Aerospace opens composite aerostructures facility in Mexico

The new GKN Aerospace composites facility in Mexico.
The new GKN Aerospace composites facility in Mexico.

The 80 000 ft2 composite manufacturing facility in the PIMSA industrial park, Mexicali, Baja California, is expected to employ over 100 staff by 2017. The site’s first products will be structures manufactured for the Sikorsky BLACK HAWK helicopter, with first parts scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2012.

Further production work will be transferred to the new site over time. Almost all staff will be recruited locally and trained in the range of manufacturing skills required to produce structures for both fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

The new Mexicali composite manufacturing facility will provide direct manufacturing support to GKN Aerospace’s Alabama operation, which has multiplied its annual sales by 500% over the last decade and is continuing to see additional growth.

Mexico is a strategically important country for us, and this move by GKN Aerospace to place BLACK HAWK helicopter component work in-country coincides with our plans to increase our presence and work content in Mexico.
Steve Estill, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Sikorsky

The Alabama site provides aerostructures for customers such as Sikorsky, GE, HondaJet and Airbus.

“The new composites operation will extend our very successful Mexico production activities and will play a key role in supporting Sikorsky and other major customers in the long term," explains Marcus Bryson, CEO and President, GKN Aerospace and GKN Land Systems.

"The skills we will develop in our new Mexicali team will grow the valuable expertise we have in the country and help us extend our aerostructures business by manufacturing consistently high quality components at a very competitive cost to our customers.”

The new plant is GKN Aerospace’s third facility in Mexico. The company’s established plants manufacture engine fan cases, containment cases, fan ducts and shroud assemblies for major aero-engine companies such as Honeywell, GE, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Allison.