36 (131) 2018
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Driving the future

By Oksana Shcherbiuk, HR business partner, Aero Gearbox international
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Aero Gearbox International is an aircraft accessory gearbox manufacturing company – a joint-venture between Rolls-Royce and Safran Transmission Systems, headquartered in Colombes, France.

It designs, develops, produces and supports accessory drive trains for all of Rolls-Royce's future civil aircraft engines. The company, founded in 2015, currently has around 200 employees spread across Colombes, (France), Derby (UK), Dahlewitz (Germany) and Ropczyce (Poland).

Aero Gearbox International’s first products are the accessory drive train power transmission systems units used for Trent XWB (powering the Airbus A350 XWB) and the Trent 7000 (powering the Airbus A330neo). It is planned to cover the entire range of civil aircraft, from business jets to wide-body commercial jets.

The accessory drive train is a key engine module, transferring power to the internal engine gearbox and/or to auxiliary engine systems including the oil system, engine vent system, fuel system, engine control and aircraft electric and hydraulic systems.

The only manufacturing facility of Aero Gearbox International is located in Ropczyce, Poland. Construction of the 12,500m2 facility started in December 2015 and was completed in October 2016, with the first product delivered in November 2016.

Alan Davies, managing director of Aero Gearbox International Poland, says “Behind everything we do is a philosophy of Zero Harm, Zero Defects; we are constantly striving to provide the best environment for people, in our operations and beyond, and to ensure that the products we make are at the highest possible quality level. Our highly skilled workforce is drawn from a number of industries, which has allowed us to look at the practices in each and learn from them. We, of course, also have a strong position in being able to draw on the wealth of knowledge and experience of our joint-venture owners.”

“Using all of the opportunities around us, we intend to be a company that sets benchmarks,” says Mr Davies. “We have made an excellent start to this, as demonstrated by becoming a finalist in the Roll-Royce internal competition for Trusted to Deliver Excellence Awards in our first full year. Given the strong competition from the global base of Rolls-Royce, this was a great achievement for such a young team,” he says.  

“Our journey will continue over the next few years as we grow the operation and increase our headcount, particularly in Poland. Challenges will surely appear but we are convinced that, with a focus on flexibility and opportunity, we will meet them and exceed the high expectations we have set for ourselves,” says Mr Davies.

Jacek Cieszyński, production leader at Aero Gearbox International Poland, adds: “The labour market has changed a lot since I started my career ten years ago as an operator. A lot of manufacturing companies started their operations in the Podkarpackie province, in particular in the aerospace sector. competing and creating better places to work. When I heard that Aero Gearbox International will invest into new factory in Ropczyce, I decided it would be a good opportunity for me. The company offers development possibilities, work with brand new machines and what’s most important – offers excellent labour conditions. I work here as production leader and I have participated in the development of the factory from the very beginning. I especially like the team spirit and working climate here,” says Mr Cieszyński.

“It’s not only investments and new technology that make our company competitive on the Polish labour market, but also a business culture based on respect, openness and trust. Our production processes are very demanding and require a lot of effort. I’m sure our team has enough skills and experience to meet our customer’s demand,” he says.

“What makes me passionate about my work is that Aero Gearbox International – unlike many other companies in Poland – is producing new products. This is not just a transfer of existing manufacturing, but development and industrialisation of newly-designed aircraft components. It is fantastic to know we are driving the future!” says Mr Cieszyński.

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