Lean manufacturing training and counsel provided through two Federal Government programs helped a mid-Michigan company recently secure a five-year, $20 million contract with General Electric Aircraft Engines (GEAE). Aircraft Precision Products, Inc. (APPI) will begin work this fall on the concurrent engineering and detailed machining of seven complex components for GEAE’s new GEnx engine program. This engine will empower the new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner.” APPI won the job against stiff global competition.

Just two years ago, APPI rapidly lost a significant amount of business to foreign competition. As a result, its leadership contacted the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC) in Plymouth, Michigan and the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center (GLTAAC) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. MMTC is part of a network of state manufacturing assistance centers funded in part through the Manufacturing Extension Partnership in the U.S. Commerce Department. GLTAAC is funded through the trade adjustment assistance program, also in the U.S. Commerce Department. It assists small to mid-sized manufacturers that have been adversely impacted by import competition.

Working collaboratively, MMTC and GLTAAC assisted APPI with “Lean Manufacturing” training resulting in significantly improved delivery times and cost savings.

“Working with MMTC and GLTAAC, we’ve been able to cut our monthly overhead costs by more than 30 percent with minimal layoffs,” said Bill Henderson, president of APPI. “Just one step, assessing how we compile and complete our manufacturing process books, allowed us to save about $3,000 per month.”

“Reducing overhead and accelerating our delivery while maintaining superior quality allowed us to bid aggressively for the GEnx components,” Henderson said. “The training and counsel we’ve received from MMTC and GLTAAC allowed us to compete and beat competitors from across the globe. We wouldn’t have won these jobs two years ago.”

Established in 1946, APPI employs 65 people in its modern 36,000 square foot facility. It averages around $10 million in sales annually and has long been a leading component supplier to the commercial and military aircraft engine industry. APPI serves customers who insist on the ultimate in precision machining, thermal coating, and other phases of the metalworking industry.

For more information about the GEnx engine, visit:

For more information about MMTC, visit:

For more information about GLTAAC, visit:

Contact us today to learn more about APPI’s specialty services for the metalworking industry.