New £6m aerospace contract sparks major recruitment drive for WEC

Darwen-based engineering and fabrication specialist WEC Group has begun a major recruitment drive after securing a £6m aerospace order for an Airbus assembly factory in Germany.

Image from Airbus Press Centre - German Airbus facilityIn addition to an 80 per cent increase in staff numbers over the past 18 months, up to 800 staff, the group now has an additional 40 live job vacancies at its sites in Darwen, Yorkshire, Merseyside and the West Midlands.

The 18 month contract is a major boost for the company, which recently achieved the AS9100 Rev C certification for CNC machining to complement its existing accreditations for laser and waterjet cutting.

Glyn Jones, engineering sales manager, is overseeing the project. He said: “We won this work based on our extensive range of state-of-the-art technology and our commitment to quality.

“The new contract will enable us to continue building our order book in the aviation, space and defence industries.”

WEC Group has been heavily involved with the Aerospace industry for many years, supplying jigs and fixtures on a subcontract basis for various aircraft assembly facilities across the world.

The company currently employs over 150 highly skilled welders and has made substantial investments in the latest robotic welding and heavy machining technology over the past few years, improving manufacturing speed, accuracy and repeatability.

This includes a large format gantry robot welding cell which has the capability to weld structures up to 8m long, as well as an automated hull/turret welding system with a 6 axis robotic arm capable of a 90 degree down weld.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, director of WEC Machining said: “Achieving the new AS9100 certification for WEC Machining and winning this new contract is a great step forward for the company.

“We have identified key areas as part of our ambitious growth strategy, and aerospace is a sector where we can now make great progress as we are ideally located in the centre of the North’s aerospace manufacturing hub.” The group has made over £11m of investment throughout the company over the past 12 months. This includes investments in state-of-the-art capital equipment such as a fully automated six metre bed laser cutting machine, CNC machining and waterjet cutting technology.