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Midlands Company Lands US$1bn Airbus Contract

Midlands Company Lands US$1bn Airbus Contract

Added to MTDCNC by MTDCNC on 13 November 2016

As a major engineering company, Arconic has landed a US$1bn contract with Airbus to manufacture parts at its Birmingham factory that has 500 staff. The Airbus contract will start in the new year with structural, fuselage and wing components all falling under the new contract.

This large contract is a further important step to expand our leadership position in the aerospace industry," said Klaus Kleinfeld, Chairman and CEO of Arconic. "We are proud that Airbus has chosen us to support their fastest growing, technologically advanced programs. Partnerships like this with industry leaders are core to our strategy and this contract is another proof point of the potential that lies in it. We continue to focus on developing products and technologies that take all of our aerospace customers to new heights.”

This agreement is the first to include material from Arconic’s new state-of-the-art thick plate stretcher in Davenport, Iowa. Arconic’s most significant share gain in the contract is in the A320 family of aircraft, which is Airbus’ highest growth program.

The multi-year agreement starts in January 2017 and makes Arconic sole supplier to Airbus for specific applications. In addition to Arconic’s proprietary alloys – chosen for their combination of strength, corrosion resistance, density savings and manufacturability – Airbus planes will feature Arconic plate products on every platform, used in key applications such as wing ribs, fuselage frames and other structural parts of the aircraft.

Arconic’s new “very thick plate stretcher” will come online in 2017 and enables Arconic to produce the largest high-strength monolithic wing ribs in the industry. Located at Arconic’s Davenport Works facility, the stretcher enhances the performance of thick aluminum and aluminum-lithium plate in wing ribs and fuselage frames material.

The stretching process reduces stress introduced into the plate as part of the manufacturing process, resulting in a part that is more easily machined and processed. For example, as composite wings get larger, one of the challenges is strength and stiffness, and the aluminum plate from this stretcher will enable Arconic to make wing ribs to address that issue.

The addition will also enable Arconic to serve the existing plate market while also providing airframe builders with the ability to make large wing ribs, fuselage frames and bulkheads using Arconic thick plate.

Last week, the Alcoa group split into two parts, Alcoa and Arconic, and the Kitts Green contract is the first announced by the Arconic company since the official separation.

In the UK, Arconic employs approximately 2,800 workers. As well as Birmingham, the business has operations in Leicester, Exeter, Glossop, Bradford, Matlock, London, Redditch, Runcorn, Rotherham, Tamworth, Telford, Welwyn Garden City and Sheffield.

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