In June 2015, GKN Aerospace has been awarded a contract by Boeing to supply engine inlet aluminum lip skins for their 737 MAX and 777X aircraft. In addition, the contract also calls for GKN to be responsible for assembling the 787 Dreamliner Section 47 floor grids.
A spin forming and post spin processes will be used by GKN Aerospace to produce engine inlet skins. The processes will be developed by the California-based metallic spin forming company Sheets Manufacturing (SMI), which GKN just recently acquired. Also, the processes will be enhanced by GKN's lean industrialization techniques. The lip skins will be produced at GKN’s Camarillo facility and a new manufacturing unit in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where the Boeing 787 Section 47 floor grid will also be assembled.
The lip skins will generate a laminar flow surface that reduces drag and improves aerodynamic performance along with a reduction in weight. GKN will supply the floor grid assemblies for all the three 787 variants, including the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10, to the Boeing South Carolina plant for installation in the fuselage barrel.
The final assembly of the 737 MAX Winglets and paint work will be carried out at a 57,000-square-foot facility that GKN Aerospace will operate in Sumner, Washington, 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. 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.
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