Spirit creates new five-axis fabrication center of excellence in Kansas and expands chemical processing

Spirit AeroSystems announced the creation of a new center of excellence focusing on the fabrication of complex commercial and military aircraft parts. The new center, located on the company’s headquarters campus in Wichita, Kan., will include new five-axis machines to manufacture complex aluminum and titanium parts.

Spirit, already one of the world’s largest fabricators of aerospace parts, has invested more than $30 million in the new five-axis center of excellence in Wichita, which now includes 120 different machine tools.

Spirit’s fabrication capability spans more than 2.6 million square feet and produces more than 38,000 parts daily.

“We continue to invest in fabrication capabilities, and these expansions will help us better compete globally and remain leaders in the industry,” said Spirit Senior Vice President of Operations Ron Rabe. “The new center of excellence offers significant capabilities to meet our current and future customer needs with better quality and improved turn time.”

The new five-axis center of excellence will utilize the latest high-speed technology to specialize in large, complex parts for fuselage, pylon and wing structures. The center will be fully operational later this year.

“We also have capacity and capability to support chemical processing and finishing of machined parts,” said Alan Young, Spirit’s vice president of Fabrication. “We have developed significant capability over many decades, and now we can provide that expertise to customers around the world.”

Chemical processing of component parts completes the manufacturing process and ensures proper coating on part surfaces to protect against corrosion. Chemical processing at Spirit includes cleaning, penetrant inspection, anodizing, priming and top-coat painting, with various colors available to support customer requirements. With one of the world’s largest automated chemical processing lines, Spirit has already processed parts for other customers this year in Wichita.

The new capabilities and emphasis on the fabrication business is one of Spirit’s growth strategies as the company focuses on new business.