GKN Aerospace global suppliers recognised at Farnborough ceremony

7/21/2006 8:00 AM
Aerospace - General

GKN Aerospace has again recognised the best of its global suppliers in an awards ceremony at the Farnborough International Airshow on Wednesday 19th July. Six companies from around the world, including one from Malaysia and others from the USA and Europe, came together for a breakfast ceremony in the GKN Aerospace chalet at the show.

The awards have been given on three previous occasions since the first ceremony, at Farnborough in 2002. The six awards recognise high levels of commitment and service in terms of quality, delivery, cost and innovation. One company then receives an overall best supplier award for exceptional service across the board.

Marcus Bryson, Chief Executive of GKN Aerospace comments: “GKN Aerospace is a major – and growing supplier to the industry globally. We provide composites, metallics, transparencies, nacelles, fuel or flotation systems on almost every major western aircraft programme, civil or military. And we have almost trebled in size since 2000, through organic growth and through acquisition in key areas. We have a clear strategic goal to become one of the top five tier one suppliers to the global aerospace industry by 2010. To do this we have exacting standards in the level of service we provide our customers and these suppliers have worked with us throughout 2005 to meet and surpass these standards. They are a major factor in our successful performance over the last 12 months”.

Award - Overall Best Supplier

Chemfab Manufacturing provides chemical resistant solutions and coating services for the harshest environments. This operation supplies GKN Aerospace’s St Louis based metallics and composite manufacturing business, placing large numbers of parts through their chem-milling process each week and providing numerous sheet metal details for major programmes such as the F-15, F-18 and C-17

Bryson comments: “Chemfab has performed at an exceptional level throughout the last year. They have transitioned to new operating practices, regularly and proactively address quality issues and priorities, and have worked closely with us to ensure we have the parts we need when we need them. We have been constantly impressed by their commitment and are working towards signing a 3 year Long Term Agreement (LTA) with them”.

Award – Cost / Innovation

This award recognises the supplier who has contributed most to the GKN Aerospace operation in terms of product or process innovation or cost down support.

Drurys Engineering has supported GKN Aerospace’s Luton based transparencies operation, suppliers of the full range of passenger and cockpit windows for the A320. Drurys provides a range of machined parts for A320 and has now signed a three year fixed price deal which has brought a significant 20% price reduction. The Company is continuing to work with the GKN Aerospace team to investigate new manufacturing techniques that could bring a further 5% cost reduction.

Bryson comments: “All companies involved in major civil airframe manufacture, primes and suppliers at every level are conscious of the simultaneous needs to reduce costs and increase quality and performance in a growing market, but one where passenger fares are greatly reduced. Drurys has worked with us at every step of the way as we investigate ways to support our customer, Airbus, on the A320 programme”.


Award – Quality

These two awards recognise exceptional levels of quality, or significant improvement throughout 2005.


Waldens Machine Incorporated, based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, manufactures precision-machined parts and assemblies from raw materials, including aluminium, titanium, stainless steel and inconel. The Company supplies the GKN Aerospace St Louis operation with complex machined components for the F-18.

Bryson comments: “2005 was a remarkable year for Waldens in terms of their effort and performance. They delivered over 1400 items to our operation in St Louis in support of Boeing programmes and performed flawlessly throughout. They met our stringent quality standards without exception and constantly supported all our programme goals”.


Supercraft Ltd specialises in complex ‘make to print’ production primarily for the aerospace and defence industries and offers innovative design, comprehensive manufacture and integrated control systems. The Company has been working with GKN Aerospace’s helicopter cell, on the Isle of Wight, UK since 2002, and is a key supplier on the manufacture of the canopy and roof for the EH101 - including the US EH101.

Bryson comments: “Supercraft has remained a focussed and energetic team throughout our relationship with them. They have forward thinking owners who work with us, often in demanding circumstances, to achieve our programme goals”.

Award - Delivery

These two awards recognise the suppliers who have demonstrated exceptional levels of delivery performance, or have achieved significant improvement in 2005.


Universal Alloys Corporation supplies both GKN Aerospace’s St Louis operation and the Company’s Chem-tronics business in San Diego California. UAC is a major supplier of aluminium extrusions to GKN Aerospace, supplying 370 discrete part numbers to St Louis alone in 2005. UAC entered a 5 year LTA with GKN Aerospace in May 2005.

Bryson comments: “UAC has worked with us to successfully develop and operate a highly effective lean manufacture and delivery pull process and kitting system. This has helped ensure we are able to respond with flexibility to our customer’s needs and have been able to maintain on time delivery”.


SMEA Malaysia has been working with the GKN Aerospace Yeovil, UK based operation for three years, as a supplier on the A340 programme. Since the first work package was awarded for the A340 aft pylon fairing, SMEA has delivered over 150 units and has been consistently on time with those deliveries. The Company’s performance record had enabled SMEA to increase the scope of its work for GKN Aerospace on the A340.

Bryson comments: “SMEA has become an invaluable partner to the Yeovil operation, recently working with us on successful bids for important new business opportunities. They are a highly reliable supplier offering us consistently excellent levels of performance and commitment”.