Ford Aerospace was founded at Tyne Dock in 1910 by Robert Ford, and the family business has most recently been led by the founder’s great-grandson, Chris Ford. The company specialises in manufacturing high precision metal components and sub-assemblies for the aerospace, industrial, and high-technology sectors. It’s been a leading supplier over its 113 year history, dating back almost as far as the first recorded flight in 1903 by the Wright Brothers.
SPIROL is a family-owned company with a history also closely tied to aviation development. Founded in 1948 by Herman Koehl, the grandfather of the current CEO, Jeff Koehl, SPIROL has grown from a single manufacturing facility in the United States to a global enterprise with manufacturing or distribution locations on four continents and twelve countries across North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
This acquisition will take the UK-based Ford Aerospace’s products to a wider international market, SPIROL said. In addition, one of SPIROL’s core principles is to continuously reinvest back into the business to ensure long-term, enhanced success and better serve its customers. This principle is also firmly held by Ford Aerospace and therefore the synergies in markets, products, history and approach to providing value to its customers ties SPIROL and Ford closely together.
Chris Ford said: “Ford Aerospace is, and always has been, here for the people, especially our dedicated and skilled team, and it was important that any new Ford Aerospace owner share the values that have been at the heart of the company for over 100 years.
“Our two companies have a long history of working together, dating back to 1980 where SPIROL licensed a specialised manufacturing process from Ford Aerospace, which is still in use today. SPIROL respects Ford’s strong position in the UK market and our product manufacturing knowledge. SPIROL and Ford’s approach to its employees and its customers align wonderfully, and I am excited to see our strong business carry on as part of the successful SPIROL group.”
Ford Aerospace’s technical skills in ‘space compensating’ management – the production of laminated and solid shims which ensures fast, precision tolerance compensation used on products such as fuselages, gearboxes and movable components – was a key offering that attracted SPIROL. These solid and laminated shims enable clients to reduce stock of individual shims and offers the option of “sizing” a particular shim by adjusting the shim pack to the desired thickness on assembly. These products simplify the assembly process while simultaneously reducing the overall cost of the assembly.
Ken Hagan, a Division President at SPIROL, said: “SPIROL is an engineering, manufacturing and sales driven company, and as such we seek to grow and expand in our product space. Where appropriate, this includes acquiring and holding exceptional companies which fit well with our overall business, global strategy and culture of excellence. We are excited to have Ford Aerospace join SPIROL and to be able to offer a more complete solution to our customers in Europe and beyond. We anticipate running Ford as a standalone business unit within the SPIROL group of companies. By combining the capabilities of both companies, our objective is to enhance our value-added offering to our customers both in technical expertise and products.”