Doncasters and the UK Welsh Assembly are investing in upgraded production facilities at the forgings centre of excellence the company has set up at its Blaenavon site in Wales.

Divisional managing director aerospace Mike Askew says £3.5 million ($6.2 million) will be invested at the site over the next 12 months to extend automated finishing of machined rings and blades at the site. “Our strategy is to offer customers finished machined blades and rings,” Askew says.

Doncasters expects to create 100 new jobs at the site over the next two years. The Welsh Assembly is contributing £955,000 of the investment, with Doncasters providing the rest.

Doncasters chief executive Eric Lewis says the site was chosen because of “the availability of a locally trained and skilled workforce, combined with the site’s proven technical and operations capabilities”.

Wales’s first minister, Rhodri Morgan, officially opened the centre of excellence last week, but manufacturing began in July in the last phase of a business rationalisation plan that saw Doncasters move production from its former site in Leeds to Blaenavon.

Since 2004, Doncasters and the Welsh Assembly have invested around £6.5 million in upgrading facilities to expand capacity at Blaenavon, including installing a new 16,000t press, allowing it to manufacture more complex products, meet requirements for “engine-ready” components, reduce lead-times and increase efficiency. Products are now being sent to the Blaenavon site from other Doncasters plants for finishing, says Askew.


Source: Flight International