Boeing inaugurated its first production plant in Europe on October 25, 2018. And to take its first footstep, the U.S. manufacturer chose Sheffield in the United Kingdom.
The plane maker invested £40 million ($51.24 million) into the factory of 6,200 square meters that produces aluminum and steel parts for the 737 and the 767. Raw materials should come from thirteen suppliers, mainly from the United Kingdom. The parts are currently being produced using ten completely automated machines, that are capable of performing all processes required for each part.
Once manufactured, the components should then be transported to be assembled in Portland, Oregon, before reaching the final assembly line in Seattle, Washington. The final output of the factory should be of 7,000 to 8,000 parts per month, with 25 automated machines.
It is not the first installation of Boeing in Sheffield, however. In 2001, the manufacturer already co-founded the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) with Sheffield University, Rotherham. The manufacturer solutions of the AMRC should be applied at the Boeing Sheffield plant.
The creation of this new plant follows Boeing’s recent years strategy to diversify parts production and gain in independence. In October 2018, Boeing acquired aviation parts provider KLX Aerospace Solutions which supplies chemicals and composites for the sector. The same month, the European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the creation of a joint venture between Boeing and French aerospace manufacturer Safran to manufacture auxiliary power units (APUs).