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Local aerospace manufacturer wins award

TA Aerospace receives Supplier of the Year for two years

Posted: October 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 5, 2012 2:00 a.m.

An operator is removing cured elastomer from a mold at TA Aerospace in Valencia.

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The next time you see corporate business owners, star athletes or the rich and famous boarding a large private jet, just know, that Valencia-based TA Aerospace has manufactured some of the components for those Gulfstream jets.

And TA Aerospace, a subsidiary of Esterline Technologies Corp., was recently awarded Supplier of the Year Awards for 2010 and 2011 by Gulfstream for its 98 percent rating of delivery and quality of parts.

“This is an outstanding accomplishment that speaks to the commitment of Esterline’s leadership and the dedication of its entire team to provide excellent service to Gulfstream,” said Heidi Fedak, senior manager of social media and external communications for the Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.

A specialty manufacturer serving aerospace and defense markets, TA Aerospace manufactures and sells millions of parts at its Valencia location, said Jim Sweeney, president.

Producing highly engineered components such as aerodynamic clamps, molded silicon rubber parts, fire-block materials, hatches, doors, windows seals and more, the company is able to track each part on an airplane. The company’s compounds are able to withstand high temperatures, making them suitable for the aerospace and defense industry.

“We have ‘traceability back to Earth.’ We can take any product and disassemble back to basic raw materials and trace the lot back to the manufacturer using a system, we’ve refined over the years,” Sweeney said.

TA Aerospace began as a private job shop during the 1940s in the garage of founder Howard Thomas, but it quickly earned a reputation in the market with its quality and high-temperature performance. In 1975, Esterline — formerly known as the Criton Corp. — purchased the company, and sales grew from $3 million to more than $30 million.

In 1998, TA Aerospace moved its business from Glendale to its 90,000 square foot facility in Valencia Commerce Center.

“We moved from Glendale because it was an older facility,” Sweeney said. “There were a lot of individual buildings and cubby holes. We needed more space and more open architecture to set up a more open floor plan. The company spent a lot of time considering that move.”

Servicing all the large contractors like Northrop Grumman, Lockheed and Boeing, the company’s business mix is about 70 percent commercial and 30 percent defense dedicated to the big three aircraft designers, Sweeney said.

“We have a lot of expertise and history with our parts,” he said. “Not a lot companies can provide that expertise. In any given year, we probably have 6,000 to 7,000 different part numbers that we sell.”

In 2001, the company purchased RM Channel Tape, moving the company from South Carolina to Valencia. The company had a small product line, Sweeney said, making a very specific type of high-temperature, insulating material for the clamps on the (plane) engines. It manufactures somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million per year, according to Esterline.

TA Aerospace has just under 300 employees at its Valencia location, Sweeney said. As for the Supplier of the Year award from Gulfstream, Sweeney said he is very pleased.

“It’s something that we’re very proud of,” he said. “Every day we work very hard to improve our performance and service levels to our customers. For all the thousands of individual efforts every day, to get an award like this is recognition that we’re doing the right thing.”

TA Aerospace is located at 28065 Franklin Parkway in Valencia. More information can be found online at www.esterline.com or by calling 661-775-1100.

jadkins@the-signal.com

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