Doncasters is shaking off its image as a traditional casings, fabrications and forgings manufacturer in a bid to become a true supply-chain integrator.

Mike Askew, who became managing director of the UK-based group's £150 million ($280 million) -turnover aerospace division earlier this year, says its individual business units have tended to operate independently, each carrying out standard build work for tier one customers such as GKN or Rolls-Royce.

But now he says the objective is to do more "horizontal deals across the group, offering a supply-chain solution on a range of finished machine parts, but not necessarily machining or casing the parts ourselves". This might involve outsourcing to lower-cost markets - the company has opened its own plant in Mexico - but "only when full-scale manufacturing is up and running and the design is stable"; or partnering other suppliers as a systems integrator.

"Consolidation in the industry will accelerate," said Askew, speaking at Farnborough International. "We want to be a supplier able to do the consolidation for the primes."

Doncasters, which has eight factories in the UK, two in the USA and one in Belgium, has just won a contract to supply Tusas Engine Industries - Turkish partner in Airbus Military A400M engine consortium EuroProp International - with titanium vane rings produced in one process using the centrispinning method, which reduces fabrication and machining time.



Source: Flight International