SC Aerospace convened aerospace-related companies on October 14th at the SC Army Aviation Support Center located at the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center (SCTAC) in Greenville. SC Aerospace Chairman and Ranger Aerospace CEO, Steve Townes, opened the event and introduced Bill Beard of GKN Aerospace (Orangeburg, SC) for the company spotlight presentation.
GKN’s existing facility in Orangeburg is currently supplying the HondaJet fuselage, a portion of the floor grid for the Dreamliner, and other components for Honeywell.
GKN announced in June of this year that it will build a new facility to produce inlet lip skins for the Boeing 737 MAX and 777X. The company is investing more than $20 million in the new facility, generating more than 75 new jobs in Orangeburg County. The process will be vertically integrated, allowing for incoming material receipt, spin forming, machining, heat treating, chemical processing and all inspection, certification and shipping.
Representatives from Greenville Technical College updated the group on the Center for Manufacturing Innovation (CMI), a collaboration underway between Greenville Technical College and Clemson University. The partnership broke ground on the CMI facility in January of this year at the Millennium Campus adjacent to the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville.
CMI is designed to change perceptions about manufacturing with architectural features that will instantly engage students. The facility will also offer landing pad space that helps companies start up or relocate and will provide flexible space where manufacturers can create prototypes and teach their current employees new skills to keep them on the cutting edge of improvements in technology.
K-12 students will be shown the possibilities that exist in advanced manufacturing careers through dual enrollment programs, tours, camps and open houses. CMI students will also benefit from internships and apprenticeships that allow them to gain practical experience working alongside experienced engineers, faculty and staff.
The CMI curriculum will include courses designed as self-paced modules or short-term blocks with embedded self-assessments. This will allow students to make a rapid entry into the workplace and to earn industry-recognized credentials while developing academic, technical and employability skills, and certificates of proficiency widely recognized by local and regional manufacturing employers.
Greenville Tech is also planning a new aviation education facility to be located at SCTAC. This facility will be a unique partnership between the SC National Guard and the college. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2017.
Jim Maxon from the SC Technical College system discussed a new pilot program to begin in November for aerospace firms.
Jody Bryson presented to the group about the South Carolina Technology and Aviation Center (SCTAC), the companies that call it home (including Cytec,
Lockheed Martin and Stevens Aviation) and the available land and facilities available for future companies.