Double manufacturing boost as Rolls-Royce lands £700m order and Futaba creates 100 jobs
MANUFACTURING in Derbyshire has been given a major boost after Rolls-Royce secured an order worth hundreds of millions of pounds – while a supplier to car-maker Toyota has announced an overseas order which will create new jobs.
Rolls-Royce is to supply engines to aircraft leasing firm Air Lease Corporation, which will help secure the future of its 12,000-strong workforce in Derby. The deal is worth £700 million.
Meanwhile, Futaba, which supplies parts to Toyota's Burnaston plant, has completed work on a multi-million-pound production line at its Dove Valley Park factory, at Foston, and signed a seven-figure deal to supply components to a factory belonging to the Japanese manufacturer in Turkey.
Thanks to the increase in activity, Futaba is now looking to extend its factory. It is recruiting a further 50 people to add to its workforce of 185.
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Rolls-Royce's order is for Trent XWB (extra wide body) engines to power a fleet of up to 25 Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.
Twenty of the aircraft will be the A350-900 variant and five will be the A350-1000 variant, which is powered by a higher-thrust version of the Trent XWB.
Air Lease Corporation, which is based in the US, also has an option to buy a further five A350-1000 aircraft.
Mark King, Rolls-Royce's president of aerospace, said: "We are delighted that Air Lease Corporation has become a significant new customer for the latest version of our world-leading Trent engine technology.
"The Trent XWB is already proving itself to be the most efficient large civil aircraft engine in the world."
The Trent XWB, specifically designed for the Airbus A350 XWB, is the fastest selling Trent engine ever, with more than 1,200 already sold.
It has been designed and developed at Rolls-Royce's civil aerospace division in Sinfin.
Steven Udvar-Hazy, chief executive of Air Lease Corporation, said: "This is our first selection of Trent XWB technology.
"We look forward to receiving these engines, which are demonstrating excellent operational performance and environmental efficiency and will help deliver real advantages to our customers."
At Futaba, company bosses are celebrating their latest contract win with Toyota.
Last year, the firm announced that it had won the work to produce fuel inlet pipes from a Japanese firm that supplies Toyota's Burnaston plant.
Futaba has now struck a deal to manufacture the same part for a Toyota factory in the Sakarya province of north-west Turkey.
Combined, the deals to supply Burnaston and Turkey mean that, once the new production line is at full capacity this spring, the Foston plant will be producing 350,000 inlet pipes per year.
Large-scale investment has also been made in a paint plant, to coat components.
It is the first step towards the firm's plan to double the size of its premises.
This would increase capacity further and, it is hoped, help bring more manufacturing work and employment opportunities to the area.
Managing director Paul Heard said: "The fuel tank filler pipes that Toyota at Burnaston had been purchasing from Japan will now all be manufactured here and we have won a very significant amount of work from Toyota in Turkey.
"To win this work, we had to compete with other plants in Europe, as well as Asia, which means that we are in a very good position in what is a very competitive global marketplace."
The contract wins are welcome news for the county's manufacturing sector. Last month, the Derby Telegraph reported that Autosplice Brittanic, a car components business in Heanor, was to close its factory with the loss of 85 jobs and transfer operations to Germany.