Two strategic developments at GKN Aerospace have been central in bringing the Company's core propulsion systems operation to the position where it can offer aero-engine primes the capability to manufacture and supply complete, assembled jet engine fan, turbine exhaust or compressor case modules. These key developments have been the completion of the acquisition, in June last year, of Teleflex Aerospace Manufacturing Group (TAMG), and the continued growth of the Company's manufacturing base in Mexicali, Mexico. Both have been instrumental in taking the Company's annual sales of engine products to USD550m.
Marcus Bryson, Chief Executive Officer GKN Aerospace comments: "We have achieved sustained and directed growth year on year of some 20% per annum over the past 5 years - and a key area of growth has been our propulsion systems business." Bryson continues: "Moving ahead, we believe that aero-engine primes will prefer to work with a set of major suppliers who will take on responsibility for large sections, or modules, of each engine in their entirety. The strategic increase in the scale and technological expertise of our engine related operation ensures we are positioned to take on that role."
The TAMG acquisition provided an excellent strategic fit with the GKN Aerospace existing operation which already supplied critical elements of the cold section of the engine including fan blades and cases and turbine exhaust cases. TAMG grew the business into the hot engine core and rotating areas, provided integrally bladed rotors (also known as blisks) and airfoil manufacturing expertise and extended important metallic processing capabilities - particularly in electrochemical machining.
The Mexicali operation, established in 2002, has met or exceeded all growth targets since that time. It already delivers some 1200 components per month to internal (GKN) and external customers and the machining and assembly skills being developed in the team at the facility are a real factor in GKN Aerospace's ability to offer a significant competitive advantage to its customers.
The initial focus for GKN Aerospace is manufacture of the complete engine fan module. The importance of this section of the engine has increased dramatically in the latest generation engines, as 'high bypass' fan engines rely principally on the thrust developed by the fan system to drive today's fuel efficient propulsion systems. This module forms the front end of the engine and typically includes metal or composite fan blades, the front containment case, rear fan exit case, exit guide vanes and inner 'V' groove ring.
GKN Aerospace is the aerospace operation of GKN plc (LSE:GKN), one of the world's largest engineering companies. GKN Aerospace serves a global customer base with some 8500 personnel operating in North and South America, Australia, the Asia Pacific and Europe and offering 24 hour 'follow the sun' engineering. With sales of GBP1bn (USD2bn), the business is focused around three major product areas - aerostructures, propulsion systems and transparencies, plus a number of specialist product areas - electro-thermal ice protection, fuel and flotation systems, and bullet resistant glass. The business is equally split along military and civil lines with participation on all major aircraft programmes today exceeding USD1m per ship set. GKN Aerospace is a major supplier of complex composite structures; offers one of the most comprehensive capabilities in high performance metallics processing and is the world leading supplier of cockpit transparencies and passenger cabin windows.