Posted on Thursday 12 December 2013 by Ulster Business


Invest NI's Alastair Hamilton helped Hutchinson Engineering's MD Mark Hutchinson launch the new aerospace division.

Specialist laser engineering firm SJC Hutchinson Engineering is investing £3.6m in new technology and R&D in a bid to tap into the global aerospace industry.

The company has launched a specialist division named Hutchinson AeroTech with the aim of becoming a leader in the machining and supply of stainless steel and titanium processing for the aerospace sector.

In forming the new division it will create 27 new jobs, 14 will be based in the firm's existing Kilrea site and 13 at Hutchinson's new premises in Antrim.

The new 10,000 sq ft purpose built facility has cutting-edge laser cutting machines including one of only three customised Trumpf Trumatic 6000 in the world and is the only one in the UK.

Invest NI has offered SJC Hutchinson Engineering over £686,000 to support this investment, including £349,000 towards its research and development activities, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Mark Hutchinson, Managing Director, Hutchinson Aerotech said: "We've already invested £1.5m in the latest cutting edge technologies and R&D to ensure that we can service the needs of this highly specialised sector.

"Building on over 40 years experience working with clients who demand precision and accuracy will help us meet the stringent needs of the aerospace sector. Our investment in researching the effects of laser cutting on aerospace materials should differentiate us from our competitors and allow us to offer customers higher quality components for precision applications."

Hutchinson AeroTech is currently working with a number of academic institutes and aerospace companies to research the effects of processing aerospace materials using a laser.

Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton welcomed the firm's move into the aerospace sector.

He said: "Aerospace accounts for around 14 per cent of manufactured exports from Northern Ireland and it is great to see Hutchinson AeroTech build on their strong engineering experience to diversify into this lucrative sector.

"This long established company has worked with Invest NI to identify and target opportunities in niche markets. Through this investment, Hutchinson is poised to become a key supplier of sophisticated and high value parts for the international aerospace industry."

Dr. Leslie Orr, Manager, ADS NI added: "Hutchinson AeroTech is a welcome addition to the aerospace sector in Northern Ireland. The sector directly employs over 8,000 people, generates annual revenues of close to £1bn and contributes greatly to our exports. Our goal, as outlined in the Aerospace Growth Partnership industrial strategy, is to further grow this high value, high technology sector.

"It is great that companies like Hutchinson AeroTech are using their extensive expertise in manufacturing to offer this sector machining and fabrication services."



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