The value and success of the UK’s aerospace industry is well documented, currently worth around £20bn to the UK manufacturing economy and employing around 270,000 people. The major aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing are predicting continued growth, with higher production rates for all commercial aircraft averaging about 5 per cent per year which is in line with the increase in passenger traffic. However, this predicted demand from the major aircraft manufacturers raises important questions about how component manufacturers are planning and investing to keep up with demand. In fact, recent reports have focused on the challenges facing tier 1 and 2 OEMs, European Aerospace suppliers, highlighting the need for them to design, develop and manufacture more complex parts and systems to shorter lead times and at more competitive cost.
One company responding to these challenges and future demands is the Lee Company in the USA, parent company of Lee Products in the UK, specialists in miniature component technology, whose major customers include Boeing and Airbus. Their new Screens Group manufacturing facility in Westbrook, CT, USA is a good example of responding to demand by investing in increased manufacturing capacity. This new facility was opened in June 2015 replacing their existing screens manufacturing building and represents a major investment. As part of this continued investment, new machine tools will be acquired to keep pace with increased demand as well as expanding the range of photo-etched screens and Hi-Bar Safety Screens which are machined from solid materials.
Further details on Lee Products range of Hi-Bar Safety Screens are available from www.leeproducts.co.uk.