Stone Foundries, a division of international marine, aerospace and engineering specialist Langham Industries, has won almost £20 million in contracts in the last year – thanks to Sharing in Growth, a government-backed competitiveness improvement programme.
The new business paves the way for further investment in plant, equipment and technology at its facility in south-east London where it produces high integrity aluminium and magnesium, sand and investment castings.
Under a number of contracts extending up to 10 years, Stone Foundries will supply aerospace engine parts for civil and military fixed-wing and helicopters such as the Lockheed Martin Hercules C130 and P-30 Orion, the Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye, Aero Spacelines Super Guppy, Cessna Citation, and the Joint Strike Fighter programme.
Several of the contracts feature new product development for a casting using Stone’s rapid prototyping sand printing technology and Stone believes technical capability was a major factor in securing contract success.
Said Stone Foundries managing director John Townsend: “The market is tough but we are winning on innovation, speed, quality and efficiency and this will help Stone Foundries fulfil the growth ambitions set out when we joined the Sharing in Growth (SiG) programme in 2013.
“At that time we were seeing light alloy castings work transferring from the UK and the USA to Eastern Europe and Asia. With the support of the Sharing in Growth Programme our capability and competitiveness have reached new levels, resulting in major long term global opportunities and investment in class leading new technologies including, process simulation, laser scanning measurement and 3D sand mould printing in line with customer needs. “
To help Stone Foundries win and secure new business, Sharing in Growth has supported the company to improve its NPI process as well as its corporate strategy and leadership skills. The company has also benefited from improvements in operational and procurement efficiency, and employees have undertaken NVQs in Business Improvement Techniques.
Established in August 2013, the SiG programme helps aerospace supply chain companies to improve their productivity and competitiveness so they are better placed to win a share of continued growth in the global aerospace market. Each company participates in an intense four year training and development programme which attracts £1 million from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) for each company.
Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page said: “Stone Foundries joined the SiG programme to win business through increased productivity and competitiveness. Their achievement is outstanding and shows the effectiveness of the programme which so far helped UK aerospace companies secure more than £1.1 billion in orders to date – 20% of which is for direct export. Ultimately the SiG programme’s goal is to secure 10,000 UK jobs by 2022.”
Sharing in Growth (SiG) is helping a total of 50 companies achieve their aim of an average 50% increase in productivity and is currently recruiting to fill the final 10 places on the programme. The programme is backed by a total of £80 million from the RGF and endorsement from Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, GKN, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, Safran and Rolls-Royce, amongst others.
SiG’s 130 cross-functional experts deliver an integrated and bespoke transformation programme founded on leadership, culture and operational excellence. This core team is complemented by blue-chip specialists such as Deloitte, the National Physical Laboratory, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing who provide world-class development in strategy, communication, motivation, business planning, product verification, advanced manufacturing technologies and performance improvement.
Companies with a turnover of more than £10 million who are interested in joining the SiG programme should complete an expression of interest form which is available at http://www.sig-uk.org/apply.