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MB Aerospace: Investing to Deliver

11 Oct 2016

International engineering group MB Aerospace is undertaking a major investment in its people and technology as it enhances its commitment to strengthen its customer offering. 

Following the completion of two acquisitions in early 2016 – in Newton Abbot, UK and Kalisz, Poland – MB Aerospace has commenced a programme of targeted recruitments and significant additions to plant capacity and capability across the group.  The package of investments is designed to deliver class-leading performance to customers, while creating opportunities for staff to develop their careers within the business. 

Bill Kircher, who joined as Chief Operating Officer in August of this year, is progressing plans to focus the next phase of MB Aerospace’s Operating System deployment to achieve world class customer performance in Quality, Cost Competitiveness and Delivery.  This will see the development of resources and processes within the group to support business operations and the delivery of stable and well-executed new product introduction (NPI). 

MB Aerospace will soon announce the appointments of a Group Head of Engineering and a Head of Business Improvement.  This will run in parallel with plans at each business to develop the number of six sigma black belts to best drive and support the group’s existing culture of continuous improvement. 

In July of this year MB Aerospace Engineering Services was launched from new offices in Rzeszow, Poland.  The business aims to recruit up to 100 manufacturing engineers over the next 24 months to provide surge engineering capacity to all of MB Aerospace businesses and will enable the group to execute beyond customer needs and expectations as major programmes are ramped up in the coming years. 

In addition, Bob McEwan has joined as a consultant, having recently retired from General Electric Aviation where he held several executive engineering responsibilities over a long, illustrious career.  Bob will report to chief operating officer Bill Kircher to help develop engineering processes in the MB Aerospace Operating System, in particular around NPI, and will also assist with coaching the engineering leadership. 

As part of this organisational strengthening, Bill Moeller has been appointed General Manager of MB Aerospace’s East Granby, CT business unit, reporting to Bill Kircher.  Bill spent more than 16 years at United Technologies, including a number of executive roles in the United States, Asia and New Zealand.  He has also served as Director, Aftermarket and Director, Mature Engine Programs for Pratt & Whitney as well as General Manager for the Pratt & Whitney/Air New Zealand Christchurch Engine Centre.

In the UK, Gary Coghill (previously Head of Engineering, Quality and Business Improvement at Motherwell) has become General Manager at Motherwell, replacing George Adams.  John Birch (formerly Quality Manager) will replace Ian Lucarz as General Manager, Burnley Assembly, upon Ian’s retirement at the turn of the year.  Gary, John and Tony Wiltshire, Director and General Manager at Newton Abbot, will report directly to Bill Kircher. 

As part of supporting its planned growth and addressing future opportunities MB Aerospace is expanding its Business Development function.  Mike Smith will transition to head up a new role as EVP of Commercial Operations, reporting directly to Bill Kircher, responsible for driving estimating strategy, technology deployment and bid prioritisation across the group.  Plans are also underway to recruit a Group SVP/Head of Business Development who will be responsible for developing customer relationships and for successfully cultivating MB Aerospace’s pipeline of new business opportunities whilst working closely with all business units and their respective customers.

MB Aerospace is also pleased to confirm three major investments to provide the group with the equipment, facilities and capacity to discharge its growth plans.  In Rzeszow, significant funds have been committed to expand MB Aerospace’s Polish manufacturing factory by a further 40,000 sq ft and increase the range of technology available in region – building work will start before Christmas and it is expected the enlarged site will be fully operational by Autumn 2017. 

In Newton Abbot a major programme of investment will double MB Aerospace’s turbine airfoil capacity, to pursue innovation-led capital projects in support of efficiency and cost progression.  Additionally, MB Aerospace Newton Abbot will soon launch a re-fit of its engineering and office accommodation. 

Investment to expand the facility, Corporate and engineering offices at East Granby  is underway and due for completion at the beginning of next year.