Metal Improvement Company, a subsidiary of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation with 38 factories in the US, Canada and Europe has opened a plant within BAE Systems Airbus UK complex at Hawarden Airport, Broughton, to meet the growing demands of the Airbus wing manufacturing programme.
MIC specialises in controlled shot peening, a technique used to form complex aerodynamic wing shapes and to enhance the service life and performance of many wing components produced by other manufacturers.
Airbus UK and MIC have worked together on the Airbus wing programme since 1982 when MIC started operations in its then new facility at Deeside in Clwyd, North Wales. In 1990 the plant was extended to 80,000sqft when work commenced on the wing panels for the A330 and A340.
The increasing volume of work, however, plus the size of the new A340-600 wing panels, at over 30m in length, necessitated a new factory. Backed by Curtiss-Wright, MIC decided to build a new factory and Airbus UK invited it to set up at Hawarden Airport, within the Airbus UK complex.
Building work started in 1998 and the new 177,000sqft plant was opened earlier this year.
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