How did you get started?
” The business was formed in 1993. At that time, it served the oil and gas sector but by utilising our strong technical expertise and engineering capabilities we gradually moved away from this and by 2006 most of our turnover was coming from the aero sector. We started manufacturing threaded rolled fasteners for commercial plane engines and became one of four suppliers in the whole of the Rolls-Royce supply chain to make these in the UK. To be able to service their engines, which are sold on to Boeing and Airbus, Rolls-Royce needs to have the highest level of quality control and accreditation. Martin Aerospace is one in a very unique small band of players that has this level of accreditation.”
What challenges did you encounter?
“A current key challenge is keeping up with the spectacular growth of the aerospace industry. The view is that there isn’t enough capacity in the supply chain to support engine build demand. Martin Aerospace is among a number of companies gearing up to meet demand by investing in new equipment technology.
For example, just over a year ago the business invested half a million pounds in a machine that can reduce the production times of certain parts from 55 minutes down to 22 minutes. Not only does that lower the cost of the product—it means that you can increase your factory capacity. If Martin Aerospace continues to seek these types of wins it will become more competitive in terms of price. It will also increase factory capacity because you are taking less time to achieve the production of certain parts.
Also, what has been key is that the business used to run a day shift and a night shift only. It was therefore only running at 66% capacity because it was not running a back shift. The business now runs three full shifts. Today Martin Aerospace is running at full capacity, with better equipment. As a result, it can offer lower pricing and be more competitive in particular against low-cost economies. The key thing is when Martin Aerospace delivers a product at a lower cost it still comes with the higher quality.”