GKN Aerospace opened a new composite design engineering center at its Advanced Composite Structures facility in Tallahassee, Alabama, enhancing the capabilities of the Elmore County operation that serves major North America-based manufacturers.
Company officials said the Tallassee facility extends its global engineering strength, providing additional expertise in the design and build of major composite structures and assemblies for aircraft and helicopter new customer programs.The center expands the established design for manufacturing operation at the ACS facility.
The Tallassee facility, located about 35 miles from Montgomery, has been in operation since 1985 and today employs over 1,000 people, producing composite aerostructures for key aerospace industry partners. The Alabama plant boasts 380,000 square feet of manufacturing space, after a 120,000-square-foot expansion announced in 2005.
“Our new composites design engineering center enables a vital expansion of the design/development engineering support we provide to our customers, significantly increasing the number of highly skilled engineering personnel based at our growing Alabama facility,” said Daniele Cagnatel, CEO, GKN Aerospace – North America.
“This research center reflects the company’s confidence in Alabama and the state’s capabilities in the industry,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “We expect that this project will result in the creation of 30 new, high-paying positions at the GKN facility in Elmore County. These will be knowledge-based jobs that produce aerospace advancements and new technology – and the work will be done in Alabama.”
Initially, work at the new center in Elmore County will focus on design and development of advanced composite technologies for rotorcraft. Over the next two to three years, the center intends to increase its workforce of design and analysis engineers with recruits being drawn from the existing GKN Aerospace engineering team and through recruitment both locally and nationally across the USA.
“As we have made our plans for this center, the State of Alabama, Elmore County and the City of Tallassee have all been excellent partners, closely involved, offering assistance with training and facilities expansion,” GKN’s Daniele Cagnatel said. “We are very appreciative of this support and we are proud of the strong and effective partnership we have with the state.”
“GKN Aerospace has been a major contributor to the economic vitality of Elmore County,” said David Bowen, chairman of the Elmore County Commission. “GKN Aerospace is the county’s largest manufacturer and, through its growth, will continue to have a tremendous presence in the state’s aerospace industry. The Tallassee facility has been one of the company’s most productive facilities in the world. We’re committed to helping them achieve even more success.”