Lincoln engineering firm creates 20 jobs in £40m deals with Boeing and Airbus
A LINCOLN firm has secured contracts worth a total of £40 million with the world's two largest commercial aircraft manufacturers.
NMB Minebea Ltd is making bearings for the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A350.
Managing director Mark Stansfield said the five-year deals marked a "landmark" year for the company.
Twenty jobs were created, with 12 vacancies still to be filled and it is hoped the contracts will be renewed throughout the 25-year production of the aeroplanes.
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The deals also see NMB Minebea become the sole global supplier of the latest lightweight titanium bearings. Essential components in the planes' fuel-efficient designs, the landing gear bearings make up £15 million of the contracts. Mr Stansfield said: "This is a landmark year for the company.
"We have been supplying bearings for 20 years, using steel and coppers. This takes us into the next generation of technology and that is the start of the next 20 years."
Each plane will include 45 different part types from NMB Minebea, with a total of 400 individual bearings. Mr Stansfield said he hoped the deal would help boost Lincoln's manufacturing profile.
He said: "In Lincoln there are many people who don't know that this technology is being developed in the city.
"But hopefully this gives us the chance to consolidate Lincoln's reputation and bring people and specialist skills into the area.
"I think it's raising the profile of the future of Lincoln's manufacturing and lifting the reputation we already have."
NMB Minebea employs 254 staff at its site off Doddington Road. It runs apprenticeship schemes and employs college and university graduates. The firm's annual turnover grew from £36million in 2010 to £40.2million in 2011. And it has a 2012 projection of £43 million.
Mr Stansfield said he hoped NMB Minebea and other Lincoln firms could help improve the nation's manufacturing industry.
"We are very passionate about continuing to develop technology and helping to secure the future of UK manufacturing," he said.
"I do think we have a future of manufacturing in Britain. The UK aerospace industry has a lot of potential for growth and the demand from China and India for new aircraft is huge."
Kate Ellis, economic sustainability manager at the City of Lincoln Council, said there was a bright future for manufacturing in the city.
"We have companies in Lincoln that are worldwide leaders in their industries," she said.