UTC Aerospace Systems in Prestwick positions to better serve its customers through purchase of a large-diameter autoclave
The UTC Aerospace Systems – Aerostructures facility in Prestwick is enhancing its ability to serve its worldwide airline customers by adding to its portfolio of maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities. The site has purchased a large-diameter autoclave that will enable employees to carry out repairs on composite nacelle systems for the newest twin-aisle aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 XWB. The new autoclave, which will be operational in late 2015, complements a smaller autoclave already in use at the Prestwick site.
The new vessel itself weighs 150 tons and will be controlled by software capable of achieving the exacting standards required for high performance carbon fibre structures. The autoclave will be fabricated in the UK over the coming months before being cut into half and shipped to the Prestwick site where the two halves will be located in a purpose-built pit before being welded back together. The pit will originally be outside the facility during installation; once the vessel is fully fabricated, the building will be extended out over the new autoclave. The last phase of production is to install the control and heating systems before final test and commissioning, which is scheduled for December.
Founded in 1996, the Prestwick site has seen substantial year-on-year growth and now employs a workforce of about 300 people. While most of the site’s customers are based in Europe, it also serves airlines from other regions of the world.
Scottish Enterprise Managing Director, Operations, Adrian Gillespie, said: “This investment is excellent news for the company and is testament to the efforts of the local UTC Aerospace Systems team to better serve its customer from its Prestwick MRO facility. The purchase and installation of the large-diameter autoclave was supported by a £490,000 grant from the Regional Selective Assistance and is a good example of what can happen when the public and private sectors work together. It also enhances Scotland's worldwide reputation in the aerospace sector, and is an endorsement of our continuing efforts to attract high quality projects like this.”
UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services integrated systems and components for the aerospace and defense industries. UTC Aerospace Systems supports a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and customer service facilities.
United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, provides high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries.