Woodward breaks ground on an expansion that doubles the size of its current facility. The new Rock Cut campus will also eventually add at least a thousand new jobs. Loves Park beat out sites across the country to land this $200-million manufacture expansion. Woodward executives give credit to workers.
"We won all these programs and the reason we are building this new campus was all the hard works of all our folks. The innovation, the creativity, and the great job they do producing the product lead us to win more business than we ever thought we could over the last couple of years," says Tom Gendron Woodward Chairman & CEO.
"Our sales in my division will be tripling in 10 plus years. As a result we are running out of room. We need to build a brand new facility. It will be state of the art, latest and greatest manufacturing technology," says Sagar Patel, president of Woodward Aircraft Turbine.
The company announced the expansion in late summer. It only took two months for the groundbreaking because Woodward's in a race against time.
"A couple of these programs, the Airbus A-320 and the Boeing 737 Max, when they come online they are going to ramp up very rapidly and they are the largest volume programs in the industry and we have to be ready to deliver on those volumes," says Gendron.
Gendron's goal is to have the new facility up and running with production bugs taken care of well before the airplanes need those parts.
"We are trying to get ahead of the game and be ready a good year in advance of when production need to start so that's what we are thinking about everyday right now," says Gendron.
Even though ground was broken Wednesday, full construction is not expected to happen until spring. The project will be lead by Ghafari Associates architectural firm which has an office in the Chicago area. Woodward is also using Arc Design from Loves Park as its civil engineer firm and Thomas Graceffa and Associates from Rockford as landscape architects.
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