In October 2018, Boeing opened a production facility in Sheffield - the company’s first manufacturing site in Europe. The £40 million, 6,200-square-metre facility is located on Sheffield Business Park, in South Yorkshire, not far from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing (AMRC), a world-class machining and materials research campus founded in Rotherham in 2001 by Boeing and the University of Sheffield. The facility employs 52 people, more than 20 of which are apprentices.

Boeing Sheffield timeline:

Summer 2017: Planning permission for the site was granted

September 2017: breaking ground ceremony for the factory took place

25 October 2018: Boeing Sheffield opened

The Sheffield-based factory makes more than 100 different high-tech actuation system components for the 737 and 767, from raw materials sourced in the UK. These components are used on the trailing edge of the wings. Trailing edge actuation systems are responsible for extending and retracting the wing’s flaps during different phases of flight. The flaps add lift to enable take-off and landing at lower speeds, and provide drag to help slow the aircraft.

Boeing Sheffield is part of a broader plan to increase in-house manufacturing of key actuation components and systems in the U.S. and the UK, enhancing production efficiency and reducing cost in its supply chain. Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ (BCA) facility in Portland, Oregon, US, will also produce actuators and components made in Sheffield are shipped there for assembly.

Boeing established a presence in South Yorkshire in 2001, and Boeing Sheffield builds on this longstanding and successful relationship with the AMRC and Boeing’s history of world-class research and development in the area. Boeing has additionally initiated a major new research programme with the AMRC to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied to the new Boeing Sheffield facility.