The aerospace manufacturing sector is all about precision and quality; after all, the components produced in these facilities are what keep planes and helicopters operational, allowing millions of us to travel around the world quickly and with minimal fuss.
One aerospace manufacturer has been speaking to the Sheffield Star highlighted how to succeed in the industry - and Kevan Donohoe should know, given that he’s the Plant Manager at Doncasters Bramah.
The firm has been operating for 239 years and supplies parts to the likes of Rolls Royce and CFM. Mr Donohoe explained that safety is always the number one priority for anyone working in his plant.
Following that, quality is the next most important aspect to consider, with cost, delivery and speed continuing the top five list of priorities towards which everyone at the firm works.
Safety covers everything from the safety of the workers at the facility, which means having the right safety mechanisms and procedures in place to protect their people and premises, as well as robust emergency response plans; to the safety of the parts themselves, once they’re sent on to be used in aircraft.
“If you have to get it right first time, rushing gives you no benefit at all. It’s about quality of product. There are no second chances in aerospace,” Mr Donohoe commented.
While the firm predominantly manufactures exhausts for CFM jets, it’s also involved in the production of parts for Rolls Royce jet engines and helicopter rotor blade protectors.
And it isn’t expecting to slow down anytime soon, in fact, business is likely to pick up given that Airbus has orders for over 1,000 planes.
Doncasters Bramah isn’t the only aerospace manufacturer that’s performing well at present. Earlier this month, Global Manufacturing reported that analysts are forecasting growth of over five per cent for the aerospace manufacturing sector in the coming five years.
The UK economy is set to benefit to the tune of approximately £3.3 billion following deals announced at the Paris Airshow in June. However, despite positive order books, the industry isn’t without its challenges, one of the biggest of which is a skills shortage.
Many workers in the aerospace manufacturing arena are older and there aren’t sufficient new engineers coming through to meet future demand. In fact, the publication highlighted figures from Engineering UK’s annual report, which suggested the country needs 56,000 engineering technicians a year until 2024 just to keep up with demand.
But in hiring younger staff, employers need to make sure they reinforce that message of safety being the paramount concern. Research conducted by WorkMobile found that, despite more millennials having read their company’s health and safety policy than older workers, they are more likely to ignore it.
SHP Online reported on the findings, which revealed that over one-quarter (27 per cent) of a firm’s employees had put themselves at risk by failing to follow its health and safety procedures. It could also be time for further training provided to the 18 to 34 age group, as only one-third of people in this demographic said they would know what to do in the event of a hazardous situation.
By contrast, two-thirds of those aged 45 to 64 years old, said that they would know how to deal with this kind of issue.