MD Steve Kirk chats to Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry at CW Fletcher in August 2018.

Sheffield engineer wins record £160m contract with Rolls Royce

A Sheffield engineering company is set to open a new factory after winning a record £165m contract with Rolls Royce.

By David.Walsh2
Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 4:25 pm

CW Fletcher in Wales Bar will supply jet engine parts over 10 years in a deal which “dwarfs” everything from Rolls in a relationship dating back to the 1940s. It secures a £2.5m investment in a factory which is under construction, and safeguards 186 workers’ jobs.

The firm is advertising 10 jobs now with 10 more planned in the near future.

Boss Steve Kirk said they had contracts worth £200m in total, giving the 126-year-old firm “relative safety.”

He said: “This is hugely significant for every one of us at CW Fletcher and represents many months of work at both companies.

“The contract forms a key part of our growth strategy which will also see the start of our new facility. We are confident that the future is bright for advanced manufacturing here in Sheffield.”

But it was the firm’s most challenging period, he added.

He added: “Customers want products that are cheaper and better and that’s quite difficult to put together. Raising standards all the time and making a profit is difficult.

“But the skills we have got in this area are drawn from quite a deep pool of manufacturing people who really understand these materials.

“It’s hard, but I have spent 22 years in this company and not been bored one day.”

CW Fletcher makes round seals and seal retainers up to 1.5m in diameter from titanium and exotic alloys such as inconel. It supplies the full range of Rolls Royce jet engines.

Ian Oliver, strategic buyer at Rolls-Royce, said: “Rolls-Royce is pleased to secure this deal with CW Fletcher, which builds on the previous 70 years plus relationship. It is an important supplier to Rolls-Royce and the deal helps secure the long-term relationship between the companies.”

CW Fletcher was one of the first companies selected for the Sharing in Growth competitiveness improvement programme.

It has had training on leadership, culture and operational capability. Business coaches include experts from The University of Cambridge’s Institute for Manufacturing, Deloitte and the National Physical Laboratory.

Sharing in Growth was set up by industry in 2012. It is endorsed by Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Bombardier, GE, GKN, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin, MBDA, Rolls-Royce, Safran and Thales.

Sharing in Growth CEO Andy Page said: “We are thrilled with CW Fletcher’s well-deserved success. It is testament to the effectiveness of Sharing in Growth and we’d encourage other ambitious companies to follow the firm on to our programme.”

CW Fletcher’s current facility offers 5-axis milling, CNC turning, heat-treatment, pressing, sheetmetal work, non-destructive testing and a range of welding techniques.

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