Boeing on Thursday opened its new fabrication factory in Sheffield — the company’s first manufacturing site in Europe — to make “actuation system” components for the 737 and 767 passenger jets from raw materials sourced in the UK.
At full capacity, Boeing Sheffield will produce thousands of parts each month which will be shipped for assembly in Boeing’s Portland plant in Oregon, United States.
The 6,200-square-metre facility represents a Boeing investment of more than £40 million, placing the world’s largest aerospace company at the heart of Sheffield City Region’s growing “global innovation corridor.”
Jenette Ramos, Boeing senior vice president of manufacturing, supply chain and operations, said: “In Boeing Sheffield, we are building on longstanding relationships and the region’s manufacturing expertise to enhance our production system and continue to connect, protect, explore and inspire aerospace innovation.”
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “Boeing’s choice of location is a strong sign of confidence in our advanced engineering excellence, confidence in our workforce and strong manufacturing heritage, and confidence in the cutting-edge collaborations between university and business that enable us to lead the world.
“Boeing Sheffield will also be a key part of our region’s ‘Global Innovation Corridor’, creating a connected set of research and business interactions based on the advanced manufacturing and engineering strengths we have here in the region, and linking people, places and ideas.
“The opportunities for our communities, for businesses, for researchers and for the workforce of the future are limitless.
“This opening of this new facility is hugely significant for South Yorkshire, the wider Northern Powerhouse, and indeed for the UK.”
Boeing highlighted 13 UK-based suppliers who have partnered with Boeing on this expansion in the UK.
Aeromet International Ltd, a Worcester-based supplier of advanced aluminium and magnesium cast parts, will provide Boeing Sheffield with high-strength, complex and multi-core aluminium cast parts.
Maher Ltd, a first-time supplier to Boeing, will supply bespoke steel bar and pre-machined components made of UK-sourced steel from Liberty Speciality Steels, located three miles from the new Boeing factory.
MetLase Ltd, based at the Advanced Manufacturing Park Technology Centre in Rotherham, is Boeing Sheffield’s tooling and fixturing partner.
Mettis Aerospace Ltd, a designer and manufacturer of precision forged and machined components from Redditch, will supply Boeing Sheffield with steel alloy precision-forged components.
The other partners are AMRC Training Centre, D5 Architects, JF Finnegan, Mills CNC, Mitutoyo, Mott MacDonald, Nikken, Starrag and WFL.
Cllr Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council said: “The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre is a world class facility at the heart of our region’s economy.
“It has seen fantastic success and we are delighted to be home to Boeing’s first European facility. Boeing Sheffield will manufacture more than 100 different components for its 737 and 767 aircraft here.
“Boeing Sheffield adds to some of the globally leading names that are part of the AMRC and we have worked in partnership with Rotherham Council and the University of Sheffield for many years to develop our region’s Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District.
“We are committed to strengthening these partnerships moving forward to ensure we do what needs to be done to deliver on a scale where advanced manufacturing creates the high skill high wage manufacturing jobs in the numbers that will provide a strong base for our economy.
“One of our top priorities is to provide the opportunities for young people in Sheffield.
“That’s why it is so welcome not only to see such globally renowned brand like Boeing here, but their commitment to local apprentices who will make up much of the workforce and the opportunities they are offering for our young people to work for global engineering giants.”