16 June 2014

GKN Aerospace: from “Most Improved” to “Best Performing” Supplier

GKN Aerospace in Filton (Bristol, UK) has been recognized as Airbus's Best Performing Supplier. This follows receipt of the 2013 Most Improved Supplier award by the site, the result of significant industrial performance enhancements achieved working with Airbus during 2012.

Sales to Airbus represent approximately 20% of GKN Aerospace’s total annual turnover of £2.2 billion and the company supports almost all Airbus aircraft programs with products ranging from complex composite and metallic airframe and engine structures to advanced cockpit and cabin transparencies.
“To receive both ‘most improved supplier’ and then ‘best performing supplier’ from Airbus in just 24 months is an excellent achievement for us,” says John Pritchard, vice president and managing director - metallics, GKN Aerospace. “Our entire workforce - at Filton and globally - is committed to delivering excellence to our customers. We have embedded robust practices and created a customer-focused culture that have delivered significant, measurable performance benefits. It is extremely satisfying for us all - and our Filton team in particular - to see the site recognised with such an important customer award.”

GKN bought the wing components manufacturing facility at Airbus's Filton site in January 2009 and has built a separate, dedicated factory for its A350 work 8km from the Filton plant.

GKN Aerospace in Filton produces the rear wing spar and the fixed trailing edge for A350 XWB family of aircraft. The site employs more than 1.700 of the GKN Aerospace’s worldwide total of 12.000 staff.

Each wing's 27m long rear spar is manufactured in 3 sections and forms the structural heart of the wing fixed trailing edge (FTE). The spar attaches vital parts including the main landing gear, to the wing. Its complex integral contours are achievable only as a result of manufacturing innovations introduced by GKN Aerospace and these contours provide the specific strength and flexibility required with minimal weight.

Once the spar is manufactured, GKN Aerospace is responsible for assembling the complete wing FTE and delivering this assembly to Airbus in Broughton ready for integration onto the wing.

Based on the article “GKN Aerospace — Filton wins Airbus performance award” published in Composites World.

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