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Meggitt Invests To Meet Growing Aerospace Demand

 - July 18, 2018, 7:43 AM

Already one of the 50 biggest aerospace and defense companies in the world, Meggitt (Chalet A28) is expanding production facilities globally to keep up with growing demand. “There’s a lot of stress across the industry right now” to keep pace with aircraft manufacturers’ plans to increase production, Meggitt CEO Tony Wood told AIN.

Since joining the company in 2017, Wood has worked to make sure Meggitt is ready to meet OEMs’ growing demands, and has focused the company more on aerospace and defense. “I made the decision in the fairly early days that we needed to be sharper in our strategy,” he said.

That meant selling off seven business units in the automotive, medical, and light industrial sectors, acquiring one aerospace company, and investing more than $100 million to expand Meggitt’s capabilities.

“This is the steepest ramp-up curve that I think the industry has seen in history” outside of wartime, he said. “That means a huge investment in industrialization.”

Meggitt is spending nearly $170 million on a new manufacturing and office campus at Ansty Park in Coventry, UK, which will become the site of its new headquarters. This site also will produce wheel and braking systems, as well as serve as the center for Meggitt’s aerospace data services.

The company is also expanding production facilities in Mexico, Vietnam, and the U.S. (in San Diego, Miami, and Danville, Kentucky). “We are the largest aerospace business in Vietnam,” with nearly 1,000 employees, he said.

Braking systems are about one-fifth of Meggitt’s revenues. It recently broke into the large commercial jetliner segment when Wizz Air selected Meggitt’s electric braking system for its Airbus A321neos. Its system is also on the former C Series, recently renamed the Airbus A220.

Meggitt is increasing its aftermarket and MRO work, in part by taking on risk from airlines and traditional MRO providers. “We’re providing lots of proprietary equipment,” Wood said. “Essentially we’re becoming much more embedded with our customers. Also, we are using data to improve performance and maintenance, and predict failures.”