Posted by & filed under Events, News & Events.

Register now to join the Aerospace Innovation Showcase: Manufacturing Automation and Robotics, taking place on Tuesday 18th June at WMG, University of Warwick.

This showcase will present market-leading innovations and collaborative R&D projects, bringing together experts, innovators and adopters in manufacturing automation and robotics technologies with a view towards supporting the aerospace rate ramp-up.

Attendees can expect engaging industry panels, informative project showcases, inspiring innovator pitches and ample networking opportunities, all geared towards sparking meaningful collaborations and accelerating the adoption of automation and robotics technologies.

Confirmed speakers from Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Safran, ITP Aero, Loop Technologies, SKF, Technicut, AMRC, MTC, WMG, and more.

Find out more and register here.

Posted by & filed under News & Events.

Hyde Aero Products has ambitions to raise all its divisions to SC21 Silver status. With everyone on at least Bronze, it looks like there’s no stopping them.

As associate project director Anthony Williams sees it, the effort it takes more than pays for itself. “No matter which of our companies a customer goes to, they know what we will deliver.”

Hyde Aero Products provides engineering services, specialising in design and manufacture solutions. Within its divisions, the group offers everything from discrete work packages to full turnkey solutions across multiple commodities, working with OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers in aerospace and other highly regulated industries.

The company started in 1968 in a small mill in Hyde, a village in the Greater Manchester area, manufacturing press tools for products such as gas fires. It expanded into aerospace in the 1970s  and has worked on countless major  high specification, engineering programmes since.

Group company Hollygate Aircraft Components (HAC) launched Hyde on its SC21 journey. Its assessment, in December 2019, was swiftly followed by the company’s first Bronze, awarded in January 2020. HAC now has Silver, as does sister company Hyde Details – Profiles and Forming.

Through their experience, said Williams, “we saw what [SC21] was asking us for, what the criteria was, what we should be doing.” The other group companies had a map to follow, and by 2022 – a year behind schedule due to Covid-19 – all had achieved Bronze.

Last year, every business unit maintained its accreditation. “That doesn’t seem like a big thing, but it is,” he said. Maintaining a 98% delivery record can be a challenge. “If you were to have 2-3 months of bad deliveries for whatever reason, it could scupper you for a good couple of years.”

All Hyde business units signed up to the Supply Chain Solutions (SCS) framework, which supports SC21, in 2023 and expect to have had their assessments by mid-2024. Their sponsor is the OEM Leonardo..

“Where we’ve changed is in our mindset,” said Williams. Feedback from the group’s eight assessments will be used to generate next year’s continuous improvement (CI) roadmaps to achieve their targets.

“Each site had its own individual roadmap,” he said, “and essentially they were all saying the same thing. So instead of reinventing the wheel each time, we’re now looking for where our biggest common challenges and opportunities lie.

“Our main customer base is the OEMs and primes who all support SCS – what better way to appear to them than as a Silver brand.

“How good would that be, to have all the companies in one small cluster all Silver – it would market itself! That’s the plan.”

But SC21 doesn’t stop at Silver, and neither is Hyde. While those group members on Bronze work to upgrade to Silver, the two Silver holders have their own challenge. Said Williams: “We’re pushing them to achieve Gold by 2025, to keep the momentum going forward.”

The main commitment demanded by the SC21 programme is time. “Everyone puts in the time,” he says. “You can see that in the assessment. We all improved on our previous scores. People can see the benefits – that’s the real reward.”

Williams made way for a new CI manager when he moved to his current role last December. A systems improvement engineer was added in 2023 to look at data for insights that will help achieve those Silver and Gold awards. The company also now has a supply chain associate. “It may not sound important to this programme,” says Williams, “but it’s massive in maintaining performance.”

Just how influential is the SC21 programme to Hyde’s business?

“We have a strong and increasing order book,” says Williams, “and while we can’t attribute it all to SC21, we firmly believe it has made a difference.”

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Arrowsmith Engineering (Coventry) is flying high again in export markets after it was announced as an International Trade winner in the latest King’s Award for Enterprise list.

The company, which is part of the rapidly growing ASG Group, has seen overseas sales rocket by nearly 400% following the pandemic, with orders now accounting for 35% of the firm’s annual £7.6m turnover.

Precision components manufactured in its Bayton Road factory in Coventry are sent to global customers in China, France, Germany, Singapore and Spain for end use in aerospace engines, landing gears and air frames.

A strong investment in new technology and robotics, coupled with the creation of ten new jobs, has given Arrowsmith the capacity and capability to win work against rivals ten times their size.

Plans are now in place to build on strategic partnerships with ITP, Mecachrome, Incora and Rolls-Royce to take annual sales past £25m over the next two years. This should result in the creation of a further 15 jobs in the UK.

Jason Aldridge, Managing Director of Arrowsmith Engineering, commented: “It has been some turnaround from the very depths of despair during Covid to the renaissance we are seeing now and in the future.

“Civil aviation – a major market for us – literally dropped off the cliff (40% reduction) with the pandemic and we had to show good old-fashioned resilience and a fair bit of business innovation to get through it.”

He continued: “We also moved with the changes in the sector with the location of customer production facilities changing. Thanks to our technical expertise, our ability to add value in design and the financial strength of the ASG Group, we were able to secure contracts in new countries, as well as securing one of the biggest orders to supply parts for the German-built jet plane project called ‘Pearl 700’.

“All of these reasons have contributed to our outstanding short-term export growth and led to us winning the International Trade King’s Award for the second time in our history. It’s a real landmark moment for us.”

Arrowsmith Engineering, which has recently been reaccredited for the Silver SC21 supply chain award for quality and delivery performance, is continuing its quest to get more female engineers involved in aerospace.

A recruitment push has seen women make up nearly a quarter of the workforce and it’s a figure Jason and his management team want to continue through more work with local schools, colleges and universities and by using existing engineers as mentors to provide support and showcase what careers are available.

Jason concluded: “The King’s Award will definitely help us with recruitment, especially when you consider we are competing with some major car makers and aerospace primes locally.

“The process is one of the most stringent in business and I’m delighted for our wonderful staff. Yes, we have invested heavily in the best technology, but our people are still our greatest asset and selling point. This Award is for them.”

Posted by & filed under News & Events.

Truth be told, Peter Bennet’s first impressions of SC21 were anything but favourable. The managing director of Silver award-holder Groveley Precision Engineering thought It “looked like a lot of additional work with no reward” and wasn’t applicable to his company.


That was in 2008. Up to that point, although Bennet had tried various performance improvement programmes, none had ‘stuck’ because they all depended on his constant hand on the tiller  – not possible in a company of fewer than 20 employees.

But when the MoD – at the time Groveley’s biggest customer – announced at Farnborough that it planned to adopt SC21, Bennet took a fresh look at the programme. The company joined as a self-starter and, supported by a business improvement grant, did its initial project in 2008 – and found savings of £138,000 in annual costs. It gained Bronze in 2010.

“It took off from that,” he said. “Everyone was trained in business improvement techniques to NVQ Level 2 or 3.

“Now everything we need to be doing is undertaken by the people on the shop floor. It’s not all on my plate.”

To cap it, the Christchurch, Dorset-based manufacturer of precision-engineered components for aerospace and scientific instrumentation has an unbroken record of the Silver award since 2012.

Although it’s an aerospace programme, Bennet has found SC21, with explanation, is massively important when he approaches companies outside the sector. “They recognise what our Silver means; that what we say we can do has been independently verified every year.

This was invaluable when Groveley had to replace the 30% of its work it lost when Covid-19 claimed its biggest customer. The result was a more diversified portfolio. “Without SC21, we probably wouldn’t have been able to do that,” he said.

Maintaining Silver status for 12 years – but recording Gold-level statistics for delivery, 100% OTIF and 99.98% quality – has made the company more efficient, and its numerous ‘best supplier’ awards underline an admirable level of customer satisfaction.

“We’re subcontract engineers: so rely on other people,” said Bennet. “We always knew that what we’re good at is delivering on time to the right quality. It should be no-brainer; not everyone does it though.

“To achieve this comes at a financial cost, but we’re very close to our customers and we know what they value.” He targets one new customer a year is new – “otherwise we can’t offer service to them at that level.”


Running at 75% capacity leaves leeway to adjust schedules to accommodate unexpected or urgent customer requirements, or for operational reasons.

As for SC21, “why wouldn’t you do it if it saves you money?” he said. Some organisations baulk at the idea of taking people out of their workforce for training. “It takes one day a week for a few weeks. As long as you plan it into what you’re doing, you get an awful lot back in return for what you invest in training.”

There’s no secret to SC21 success. Said Bennet: “It’s just being committed and following through. We never took this on to gain work but it certainly helps with happy customers and staff, who remain loyal to Groveley.”

Posted by & filed under Events, News & Events.

We’re thrilled to be attending Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) in July 2024 and invite you to join us.

Connecting the global aerospace and defence communities, FIA2024, is designed to help forge meaningful connections with key industry players all centered around six core event themes:

  • Space
  • Defence
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation
  • Future Flight
  • Workforce

These key themes resonate with the seven pillars of the SCS Framework and we look forward to showcasing our services at the show.

We hope to see you there!

Save the date:

BAT & BAP Baseline Assessment Tool Workshop over breakfast

  • Thursday 25 July | 09:00 – 10:00 | ADS Chalet 

Join us for a short workshop that looks at the BAT capability assessment. It’s held on the morning with refreshments and bacon bap available.

Designed by industry supply chain experts from aerospace, defence and automotive sectors, together wih input from national and regional partners, and developed with technology partner Valuechain Technology Limited, this Baseline Assessment should give an initial holistic report of your benchmark, recommendations on how and where you can improve your business performance and where to find help to improve your competitiveness.

SC21 Celebrates with its award winners

  • Thursday 25 July | 11:00 – 12:30 | Innovate – Upstairs in Hall 1

The SC21 team will be joined by some of our OEM customers as we share the latest news on the SC21 programme. We will also celebrate in the success of some of the latest SC21 award winners. Why not come along to meet the SMEs benefitting from the programme?

SCS Drinks Reception

  • Thursday 25 July | 15:30 – 17:00 | ADS Stand

Relax after a busy Farnborough week and catch up with industry colleages at the SCS Drinks Reception.

More details will follow over the coming weeks for the three events so watch this space!

Posted by & filed under Gold Award Winners, News & Events.

It’s a golden period for Northern Ireland aerospace companies who continue to lead the UK in supply chain excellence.


Ballygowan based CCP Gransden Ltd joined an elite group of companies in the region by being awarded their first SC21 GOLD award. This prestigious award was presented to Jim Erskine Managing Director of CCP Gransden  by Philip McBride, Managing Director of Thales in Northern Ireland, at DSEI earlier this year. This is a double first as the award is the first Gold awarded for composites technology.

The region is now home to 70% of the UK Gold Award winners.

Maintaining the highest of standards means continuously seeking improvement and building on the successes achieved. In addition to first time recipients, Carrickfergus based injection moulding company, IPC Mouldings, has received its fifth consecutive gold performance award showcasing the company’s superiority in delivery, quality, sustainable improvement and the associated improvement frameworks, within the aerospace sector.

They are also joined by RTA (Ireland) Ltd who originally joined the SC21 programme to illustrate capability and performance using an industry recognised standard when a long-term supply exclusivity agreement came to an end with a key customer and RTA’s capabilities as a company were unknown.

This year marks their second Gold award.

These latest Gold awards were presented to the companies on Tuesday 24 October 2023 at an ADS Aircraft Interiors Group Meeting, hosted by Collins Aerospace, in the Kilmorey Arms Hotel in Kilkeel.

Colin Hart, Competitiveness Programme Director at ADS, commented:

“We congratulate both IPC Mouldings and RTA on the retention of their SC21 Gold Awards. Throughout their history with the programme, they have consistently delivered outstanding results.

The awards are designed to empower businesses from the UK’s thriving industrial base, and the gold award recognises the outstanding ability of businesses to achieve at least 99.0% delivery and 99.9% quality performance. The award also recognises organisational efforts to reduce supply chain risk, and the implementation of leaner production methods.”



Posted by & filed under Events, News & Events.

Advanced Engineering is the UK’s largest annual gathering of engineering and manufacturing professionals and with the SC21 programme offering a pathway to greater efficiency and produtivity, it is in good company at the show.

SC21 and the wider SCS Framework will be represented over the two full days at Advanced Engineering along with a number of beneficiaries of the programmes. Why not come along to meet the SC21 and SCS teams and the SMEs benefitting from the programme.



Day 1 – Wednesday 1 November


13:00 – 14:00 Main Hall

SC21 & SCS A national programme delivered regionally and awards

Hear from ADS’ Harriet Wollerton and Colin Hart as they discuss the SCS Framework. Tim Holmes from Midlands Aerospace Alliance will also talk about the programme from a regional perspective.

We will also celebrate recent award winners who will be there to pick up their awards


14:00 – 15:00

Reflect on NATEP Projects 

The National Aerospace Technology Exploitation Programme (NATEP) is a £20m programme to develop 80 aerospace technologies in the UK aerospace supply chain. In this session, some of the projects will be outlined and evaluated.


Day 2 – Thursday 2 November


14:00 – 15:00 Composites Arena

Innovation Funding for Aerospace and Defence

Hear from ADS’ Harriet Wollerton as she discusses some of NATEP’s innovative projects and find out about the opportunity for government funding through the Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP).


Not registered for Advanced Engineering yet? Register for your ticket here:

Posted by & filed under Defence, News & Events.

DSEI, the leading defence and security event in the UK was the fitting place to announce the latest signatories for the Supply Chain Solutions Framework.

The UK Ministry of Defence, Boeing Defence UK and Babcock International attended a signing ceremony with ADS CEO Kevin Craven, taking the total number of customer signatories to 13.

Welcoming the three signatories, Kevin Craven, CEO of ADS commented:

 “The importance of robust supply chain relationships has never been more evident than in today’s complex business landscape. The continued success of our wider Supply Chain Solutions Framework, is testament to the significance of these relationships. ADS is pleased to onboard leading defence organisations to celebrate the importance of our defence industrial base.”

Steve Burnell, Managing Director of Boeing Defence UK said: 

“Boeing is proud to join the SCS Framework and stand alongside the MOD and industry partners as part of our ongoing commitment to the UK aerospace supply chain,” said Steve Burnell, Managing Director of Boeing Defence UK. “We have a rich and diverse network of over 650 UK suppliers, engaged on both local and global programmes, delivering significant value not only for Boeing but within the local communities in which they are based.”

Martin Dolan, Group Director of Supplier Quality & Development, Babcock said:

“We are delighted to join the SCS framework and by doing so, celebrate our agile, innovative and versatile supply chain,” said Martin Dolan Babcock International Group, “Babcock are proud to recognize the commitment to excellence from across the UK’s thriving industrial base, including our innovative SME suppliers.”

MOD Director General for Industry, Trade and Economic Security, Avril Jolliffe said:

“Alongside our industry partners, the MOD is proud to support the SCS framework. Through this work, we can do more to improve the productivity and competitiveness of the UK’s defence sector.”

The SCS Framework is facilitated by ADS Group, the UK trade association for aerospace, defence, security and space in partnership with our regional partners. The programme recognises the importance of the UK’s supply chain ecosystem to delivering economic prosperity and national security.

Posted by & filed under Defence, News & Events, Events, Aerospace.


Join our colleagues at Farnborough Aerospace Consortium for their FAC Annual Conference later this month.

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from industry leaders about the opportunities in civil aerospace, defence programme and the growing space sector in our region. There will be plenty of networking opportunities and a chance to see Brooklands Museum.

  • Thursday 28th September 2023
  • Brooklands Museum, Weybridge
  • 9am to 3pm


Posted by & filed under Events, News & Events.

Advanced Engineering is the UK’s largest annual gathering of engineering and manufacturing professionals. It offers an ideal opportunity to source new suppliers, network, build connections and learn about the latest industry developments all in one place.

NATEP has been a supporter of the event for many years and we are pleased to be able to be part of it once again, this time with our wider Supply Chain Solutions Framework colleagues and with new innovation opportunities such as the  Defence Technology Exploitation Programme (DTEP).

NATEP Programme Director, Harriet Wollerton, will be speaking at the event, along with some of the NATEP beneficiaries and Technology Managers, but this informal drinks reception on Day 1 is a great place to network and catch up with NATEP and ADS colleagues and members.

Drinks Reception

  • 1 November 2023
  • From 4pm
  • At the ADS Stand

No need to book a place, just turn up on the day.

We look forward to welcoming you.