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GKN Aerospace To Locate Manufacturing Plant In Orangeburg, South Carolina

GKN Aerospace will open a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility to produce inlet lip skins for the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X in Orangeburg, South Carolina. The company is investing more than $20 million in the new facility, generating more than 75 new jobs in Orangeburg County.

Located adjacent to GKN’s existing Orangeburg, South Carolina, facility at 348 Millennium Drive, this new 126,000-square-foot facility will be set up to produce the one piece 737 MAX and two piece 777X lip skins, the leading edge of the nacelle – the pod-like structure that houses the aircraft’s engine.

“Our expansion in Orangeburg is directly tied to the recent acquisition of Sheets Manufacturing Inc. and the new inlet lip skin production facility will meet Boeing’s needs for the 737 MAX and 777X. The site is close to the Boeing Propulsion South Carolina facility, allowing GKN and Boeing to work collaboratively,” said GKN Aerostructures North America CEO Daniele Cagnatel.

“The selection of Orangeburg was also influenced by the ongoing success in our existing facility. We have been able to hire and train the personnel we need and are confident we will have future success as our facilities grow. GKN is proud to be a part of the South Carolina aerospace community and have continued growing our strong partnership with the State of South Carolina, Orangeburg County Council and the City of Orangeburg,” he added.

While the production programs will be completed in Orangeburg, the development articles for both programs will remain at GKN’s Camarillo, California location. The process will be vertically integrated, allowing for incoming material receipt, spin forming, machining, heat treating, chemical processing and all inspection, certification and shipping.

GKN will procure and install all of the major capital equipment to assure that planned program production rates are attained. First part production from the building is scheduled for late 2016.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to the project.

“One of our top priorities in our economic development efforts is to make sure companies understand all that our rural counties have to offer, and it’s exciting to see that GKN continues to thrive in Orangeburg County. The 75 new jobs GKN is creating truly will make a difference in South Carolina, and we couldn’t be more excited about the fact that this great company has decided to invest in the people of our great state once again,” said Governor Nikki Haley.

“Central South Carolina and Orangeburg County welcomed first-tier aerospace supplier GKN Aerospace in 2011 with an initial announcement of $38 million and 250 new jobs. Today’s expansion announcement bodes another milestone for the stakeholders, workforce, and citizens of Orangeburg County and Central South Carolina. Congratulations to GKN Aerospace on their new product line and new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility,” Central SC Alliance Chairman Mike Brenan said.


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