Growth in composite engine components for military and commercial aircraft drives Meggitt expansion

Oct. 11, 2016
SAN DIEGO, 11 Oct. 2016. “Aircraft manufacturers are in a race to convert as much metal to composite as possible because the reduction in weight saves fuel and production costs are much less,” Mike Louderback, site leader at Meggitt Polymers & Composites, a business unit of Meggitt PLC.

SAN DIEGO, 11 Oct. 2016. “Aircraft manufacturers are in a race to convert as much metal to composite as possible because the reduction in weight saves fuel and production costs are much less,” Mike Louderback, site leader at Meggitt Polymers & Composites, a business unit of Meggitt PLC.

Company officials announced the relocation and expansion of Meggitt PLC’s San Diego facility, which coincides with the ramp-up of the F-35 combat fighter aircraft program for which Meggitt manufactures engine components and other structures. The larger facility includes capacity for expansion into the high-growth market of composite components for commercial aircraft.

“We now have amongst the widest range of composite processes in-house in our market segment, which means we can are well-positioned to accommodate any geometric challenge our customers put before us,” Louderback adds.

Meggitt PLC, an international engineering group specializing in aerospace, defense, and energy markets, acquired the advanced composites businesses of Cobham plc -- Cobham Advanced Composites Limited, Compass Composites Products Inc., and certain assets of Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions Inc. -- for $200 million in cash in 2015. The businesses design, develop, and produce highly engineered aerospace composite engine components (spinners, internal multi-stage components, exhaust flaps), radomes (C4I and defensive measures radomes, with a growing position in civil radomes), and complex secondary structures (air-to-air refuelling, structural munitions components). The businesses – with operating facilities in the United States (San Diego, California and Baltimore, Maryland) and in the U.K. (Shepshed, Leicestershire and Stevenage, Hertfordshire) -- were integrated into Meggitt Polymers & Composites (MPC), a division of Meggitt PLC.

Meggitt also purchased the composites division of EDAC for $340 million. “This acquisition, in tandem with the recently completed acquisition of the composites businesses of Cobham plc, substantially enhances our composites capability. We are now very well positioned to meet a growing demand for the high performance, lightweight materials that will be a pervasive feature of next generation aircraft," says Meggitt Chief Executive Stephen Young.

GE also concentrates on composites; the company's ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are a breakthrough materials technology for jet engines.

Meggitt Polymers & Composites (MPC) is relocating to a single 120,000 square-foot facility on Top Gun Street, less than a quarter mile away from its current location at Heater Court in the Sorrento Valley/Mira Mesa area of San Diego. The current location comprises 70,000 square-feet over two less-efficient buildings.

The San Diego facility will become a Meggitt center of excellence in multi-axis high-pressure compression molding as well as autoclave processes.

The relocation investment of approximately $10 million will result in over 200 new jobs by 2020 for composite technicians, program managers, and manufacturing and quality engineers.

Meggitt Polymers & Composites expects the Top Gun Street construction to commence in November 2016, with a phased occupancy to be completed by second quarter 2017. Architectural and construction firms have been designated for the project.

Meggitt Polymers & Composites (MPC), a business unit of Meggitt PLC, provides an expansive line of sealing solutions, advanced composites and fuel containment systems for both commercial and military markets, operating out of 12 locations in the U.S., U.K., Mexico, and China.

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