Boeing [NYSE: BA] has awarded GKN Aerospace a contract for final assembly and paint of Advanced Technology (AT) Winglets for the new 737 MAX. This adds to GKN Aerospace’s existing work package with Boeing and brings additional jobs to Washington State.
The final assembly and paint work will be carried out at a 57,000 sq. ft. facility that GKN Aerospace will operate in Sumner, Wash., near Boeing’s 737 MAX Final Assembly in Renton, Wash. The facility will open in late 2015 and employ approximately 75 people when full rate production is achieved. Staff recruitment will begin early in 2015 with the majority of the new team being drawn from the highly skilled workforce based in the state.
“GKN is a longtime, valued supplier to Boeing, and we’re pleased that our relationship has resulted in this additional work package,” said Kent Fisher, vice president and general manager of Supplier Management, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We’re happy that the investments made by Boeing and our suppliers in the 737 MAX are resulting in the creation of jobs in our local communities and will continue to spur economic opportunities in Washington State for years to come.”
To support this new facility, Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Commerce have approved an incentive agreement that will provide support for GKN Aerospace, including assistance with training new employees as the facility is brought on-line.
The 737 MAX with AT Winglets incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. The 737 MAX will be 14 percent more fuel-efficient than today's most efficient Next-Generation 737s – and 20 percent better than the original Next-Generation 737s when they first entered service. The 737 MAX has more than 2,600 airplanes on order. The new contract adds to GKN’s existing work package, manufacturing and performing initial assembly on fifty percent (50%) of the MAX AT Winglets.
“This work expands our role with Boeing on the Advanced Technology Winglet, allowing us to provide a turnkey product to the Boeing Renton facility,” said GKN Aerostructures North America President and CEO Daniele Cagnatel. “Completing the assembly and painting near the 737 MAX Final Assembly site provides logistical advantages and support for emergent requirements. Over the long term we expect the Sumner site to support additional commercial programs’ assembly and painting needs.”
“We are proud to reestablish our presence in Washington State,” said Cagnatel. “The State, Pierce County, the city of Sumner and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County have provided outstanding guidance and support throughout our site selection process and have been strong advocates and partners. Their professionalism and the strength of the relationship we have with them have been key factors in our decision to come to Washington.”
“I am proud to welcome GKN Aerospace back to Washington,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee. “The Advanced Technology Winglet is one of the most exciting elements of the Boeing 737 MAX and having this dynamic component assembled, painted and delivered directly to the assembly line here is exciting. The fact that GKN Aerospace is bringing this work to our state is testament to the strength of Washington as a place to do business and the health of our aerospace industry, now and for decades to come.”
“Sumner already has thousands of jobs in manufacturing and is proud to be also the local home of GKN Aerospace,” said City of Sumner Mayor Dave Enslow. “It’s wonderful to be the place where goods are made in America and local families are supported with great jobs.”
Date: Jan 13, 2015