Spirit AeroSystems Opens Center of Excellence

Spirit AeroSystems unveiled its second center of excellence focusing on the fabrication of complex commercial and military aircraft parts. The facility, located at the company’s McAlester, Okla., site, will support current customer contracts while accommodating new work in the global aerostructures market.

“We announced plans last year to create a three- and four-axis fabrication center of excellence to support the growth of our fabrication capabilities to a billion-dollar business for the company,” said Spirit President and CEO Tom Gentile. “Rather than moving work to Mexico, we imported 18 new machines from a shop in Juarez, Mexico. We began producing parts for customers in McAlester last year, and the site has capacity to bring in more machines as demand increases.”

“The opening of Spirit’s center of excellence in McAlester is further evidence that Oklahoma is one of the world’s premier destinations for the aerospace and defense industries,” said Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. “We are appreciative of Spirit’s confidence in our state and the industry, and are excited for the opportunities this will create for Oklahomans. This is another example that our commitment to pro-business policies is resulting in a wide variety of jobs for our state.”

The purchase and installation of new equipment began in 2017, augmenting the company’s existing capabilities as one of the world’s largest fabricators of aerospace parts. Since production began, more than half of the 1,000 parts scheduled for production in McAlester have been through their first article inspection.

“Along with the new five-axis center of excellence that was unveiled in Wichita in February, the center in McAlester further solidifies our competitive advantage for fabrication work,” said Spirit Senior Vice President of Global Fabrication Kevin Matthies.

The new McAlester center specializes in small- to medium-sized parts and will generate millions of dollars in new revenue for Spirit.

“We’re thrilled to bring this work into our McAlester site,” said Bill Brown, vice president of Oklahoma Operations for Spirit. “Our collaboration with local, regional and national UAW leadership helped make this expansion possible.”

Spirit’s overall fabrication capability spans more than 2.6 million square feet and produces more than 38,000 parts daily. Spirit offers customers a wide range of solutions including machining, skin and sheet metal fabrication. The Wichita site leverages one of the largest automated lines in the world to reliably offer high-volume and high-velocity chemical processing.


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