Thermal processing specialist Bodycote has signed a 10-year renewal contract with Rolls-Royce to provide its services in the UK and potentially other parts of the world, including North America and Asia. The company’s Dallas, Texas-based aerospace and defense division also has announced the planned opening this year of a new vacuum, heat-treatment facility in Mexico to provide outsourced thermal processing to major aerospace and power-generation suppliers in the area.
Bodycote’s core business involves improving the properties of metals and alloys so that parts, components and end-products are thereby stronger, safer and longer lasting. It does this with thermal processes that include heat treatment, metal joining, surface technology and hot isostatic pressing (HIP). The company has 170 accredited facilities in 27 countries.
Tracy Glende, president of the Bodycote Aerospace, Defense & Energy business, told AIN the company’s expansion supports customers who are simultaneously globalizing their supply chains while looking to reduce their overall number of suppliers. Bodycote, he said, “is well positioned to help our customers attack that problem” by enabling them to complete processing within the region without transporting parts back to their main facilities.
The contract renewal with Rolls-Royce involves direct support of the manufacturer from Bodycote’s on-site facility within the Rolls-Royce Precision Casting facility in Derby–the foundry for turbine blades used in Trent series engines–as well as five additional UK locations. The company will provide Rolls-Royce with heat treatment, HIP, thermal spray coatings and metal joining, including brazing and electron-beam welding of engine cases.
The vacuum, heat-treatment facility in northwest Mexico, scheduled to open in the third quarter of this year, is the first of its kind in the region, according to Bodycote (Hall 2B F137). The facility will provide outsourced support to aerospace and power-generation suppliers in the area, including those serving Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, Siemens and other manufacturers.
Located in the city of Empalme, Sonora state, the new plant is a result of Bodycote’s recently signed, long-term agreement with Trac Precision of Wolstanwood Crewe, Cheshire, UK, a supplier to Rolls-Royce and Siemens. It will support Trac’s Mexico operations with vacuum brazing and heat treating.
The company said the plant will be a more cost-effective option for other aviation manufacturers within the region, enabling them to provide complete processing without transporting parts back to the U.S. It said this streamlines its supply chain by reducing labor and logistical costs, and improving turnaround times.