Nordam Group is investing more than $10 million in a new manufacturing plant in Chihuahua, Mexico.
The 96,000-square-foot facility will produce composites, plastic parts and metal assemblies for the aviation industry, particularly for business jet manufacturers, Chief Executive Officer Ken Lackey said in a telephone interview.
The plant will open in early April, he said. Nordam Mexico, a Nordam subsidiary, will lease the factory for 10 years.
By the fourth quarter of 2009, the company expects to employ 110 at the facility, 900 miles northwest of Mexico City.
It will be Tulsa, Okla.-based Nordam's first manufacturing operation in Mexico. The company already employs about 2,800 people at other facilities in the U.S. (in Tulsa and Wichita, Kansas), the United Kingdom and Singapore.
``We chose Chihuahua because of its commitment to the aerospace industry,'' Lackey said. ``Governmental interest and training played key roles in our decision.''
Several other aerospace companies, including Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft and Honeywell Aerospace, already have manufacturing operations in the state of Chihuahua, he said.
``Strategically located capacity will allow Nordam to better serve our customers across the globe,'' he said. ``A geographically diverse, cost-effective supply chain will provide strategic growth opportunities.''
``Since we do business with Hawker, Cessna and Honeywell, and Chihuahua has a skilled workforce, this is a very good location for us,'' said Steve Pack, the company's senior vice president of original equipment manufacturing operations.
Founded in 1969, Nordam is one of the world's largest independent aerospace companies, designing, certifying and manufacturing integrated propulsion systems, nacelles and thrust reversers for business jets.
It also manufactures composite aircraft structures, interior shells, custom cabinetry, radomes and aircraft transparencies, such as cabin windows, wing-tip lenses and simulator screens.
It is a major third-party provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul services to the military, commercial airline and air freight markets.
``As a result of Nordam's recent contract wins on the Gulfstream G650 wing-to-body fairing program, Dassault F7X cabinet program, Cessna CJ4 program and the Hawker 900 re-engining program, we are in a position to expand capacity. Chihuahua was an obvious location due to increased customers' needs, skilled laborers and a competitive cost structure,'' Pack said.