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Northern Ireland Supply Chain Excellence to the Forefront

With Northern Ireland companies contributing £900m to the aerospace sector’s annual revenue, it’s no wonder that there are 11 manufacturing companies heading to the world’s leading event AIX 2019, for airlines and their supply chain for cabin interiors in Hamburg next month.

Joanne Liddle, MD of IPC Mouldings, Stephen Cromie, MD of Exact Group and Patricia Clements, MD of Bradfor Ltd.

Three of those companies are showcasing how collaboration and performance are key to customer partnership. The companies have also been chosen as part of a Department for International Trade mission to Collins Aerospace (formerly Rockwell Collins) to their Charlotte, North Carolina facility in two weeks’ time, the week before the Expo.

Between them in 2018, Rostrevor based seat cover manufacturer Bradfor Ltd, rapid response CNC machining and composite finishing company Exact Group, based in Newry and Carrickfergus plastic injection moulding company, IPC Mouldings, manufactured and delivered 3.7 million parts and assemblies. All AS9100 accredited and successful participants in the SC21 aerospace programme, each company has set the bar in the aircraft interiors market, where innovation and excellence is the norm and can boast a combined history of 54 years’ experience.

However, it is their supply chain excellence that is really on show where quality, on time delivery and best practice is of the utmost importance.  All three report shorter lead times than the industry average, offering an agile and competitive solution to the end customer.  AIX 2019 will allow Bradfor Ltd, Exact Group and IPC Mouldings to continue building relationships, uncover new innovations and technologies, get inspired by leading experts and create opportunities, allowing them to be ahead of the curve and at the top of their business.

Patricia Clements, managing director of Bradfor Ltd, who has 30 years of experience in this industry said: “The aircraft interiors’ sector continues to evolve and change. With this comes the need to embrace new technologies to ensure that your product is the best there is. Last year, Bradfor Ltd was responsible for manufacturing nearly a third of a million products of which 55,000 were seat covers for new aeroplanes and our products were delivered to at least 10 countries worldwide.”

Stephen Cromie, managing director of Exact Group, who specialises in rapid response said: “AIX 2019 is a great opportunity to engage with new and existing customers. It allows the Exact Group to showcase their precision engineering and composite finishing techniques and its rapid response, which we excel in; from enquiry to customer receipt.

“This we’ve achieved within as little as six hours with the delivery of products to the United States in as little as 38 hours. This is no small task as it includes programming, cutting the raw material, machining the parts, carrying out FAI, and then dispatch. Our composite finishing division cosmetically finish components to achieve the highest quality finishes within the industry and again these can be delivered in a rapid response time line.”

Joanne Liddle, managing director, IPC Mouldings explains: “The Expo at Hamburg is a ‘must attend’ event for anyone in this sector. Collaboration and partnership is key to any customer relationship but with all three companies working in the same supply chain, it is evident that there is a core value of understanding and trust, which allows us to meet the current and future needs of our customer to ensure their product is brought to market within timescales.  Value add is expected by our industry and we partner with our customer to deliver increased competitiveness through product whole life, from design and testing through to production and aftermarket requirement.”

 Staged annually in Hamburg, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, AIX 2019, is a vibrant must attend business-to-business event presenting a diverse range of leading suppliers to Europe and International aircraft interiors professionals and airlines with the latest innovations, technologies and products.

The Expo takes place from the 2nd  to the 4h April and Bradfor Ltd, Exact Group and IPC Mouldings are exhibiting on the Northern Ireland Aerospace/Invest Northern Ireland’s stand as part of the wider UK offering, which can be found in Hall B3 Upper: Stand 3UA11A.

The Department for International Trade has organised a UK supplier trade mission to Collins Aerospace (formerly Rockwell Collins) Charlotte, North Carolina facility later this month.