Mechanical engineering firm sees record-breaking year after landing Boeing contract

A mechanical engineering firm has reported a record-breaking year after securing a contract with the world’s largest aerospace manufacturer, Boeing.

MetLase, which is a joint venture between Rolls-Royce and Unipart, has been announced as the tooling and fixture partner for Boeing’s new Sheffield facility in a deal that will initially increase the workforce by 15%, initially creating four new jobs.

The company will use its 3D design capabilities, high precision laser-cutting technology and patented assembly and joining systems to create lightweight and optimised machining fixtures that will precisely hold 11 different castings used in the production of actuation system components for the 737, 767 and 777 passenger jets.

MetLase, which employs 25 people at its 12,500 sq ft facility at the AMP Technology Centre, is due to start delivering the first fixtures this week as part of a three-year contract.

This contract with Boeing is the latest in a line of new business wins that include strategic partnerships with blue chip companies in sectors such as automotive, aerospace and energy – marking a 70% annual increase in sales for the firm.

Steve Dunn, managing director of MetLase, said: “The long-term agreement with Boeing marks a new chapter for our business, as it will enable us to become an integral part of its future plans to develop intelligent and connected fixturing and tooling solutions.

“Our unique approach and technology will see us produce optimised fixtures that are lighter than traditional alternatives, can be produced in weeks as opposed to months and, importantly, through our design iteration service, can be continually improved to deliver the best possible performance.

“Strategic supply chain relationships are very important to Boeing and, from the outset, we have been working closely with other suppliers to build partnerships and explore ways where we can harness our collective expertise to offer new solutions.”

MetLase specialise in the manufacture of world class tooling, intelligent fixturing and components, bringing lead times of months down to hours or days.

He added: “Our standardised design and development process and unique joining and assembly techniques mean we only use the exact amount of material needed, ensuring we can deliver fixtures quicker and more cost effectively than our rivals,” continued Richard Gould, Sales Manager at MetLase.

“This is the first stage of what Boeing wanted. The next phase is to develop intelligent fixtures that provide real time data on performance and will either alert engineers if an issue arises or correct it automatically.”