Industry-leading manufacturing and workforce innovation among highlights for Washington state’s largest-ever delegation to upcoming Paris Air Show

3D automated optical inspection, robotics, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) components, 2017 Boeing Supplier of the Year, new mechatronics training, social enterprise with three build-to-print manufacturing plants, local VIPs and more to be featured in “Choose Washington” exhibit co-hosted by U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen, state Commerce Director Brian Bonlender

OLYMPIA, WA – U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen and Washington State Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender will co-lead the state’s largest delegation ever to the International Paris Air Show June 19-25. Sixty-three participants representing aerospace clusters all over the state are featured in an 840-square-foot exhibit and meeting area themed “Defining the Future of Aviation and Space.”

Washington is home to a global aerospace industry that employs over 136,000 people, produces about nine of every 10 commercial aircraft made in North America, and adds over $70 billion in revenue annually to the state economy.

“The aerospace industry is an economic engine in the Pacific Northwest, and the aircraft produced by Washington workers are the envy of world,” said Larsen, the top-Ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Aviation. “I look forward to bringing that message to Paris and helping showcase all that Washington state has to offer to the global aerospace community.”

“After building more than a century of leadership in this industry, Washington state’s entrepreneurial culture continues shaping the future of flight and space exploration,” said Commerce’s Bonlender. “A strong aerospace industry strengthens communities by creating the next generation of experts who will envision and hold the jobs of the future.”

Chris Green, assistant director of the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness, heads the Commerce team that is organizing and supporting the 2017 delegation, along with John Thornquist, Governor Jay Inslee’s director of aerospace industry sector development. The group doing business at the huge trade show held every other year in Le Bourget, France includes 18 companies from the state’s massive aerospace supply chain, plus leaders in local governments, economic development, education and workforce training.

A smaller group from the Washington delegation of elected officials, economic development councils and six companies arrives for pre-show meetings and site visits June 15-17 in Europe’s largest aerospace and space cluster around Toulouse. The itinerary, organized by the French-American Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest, includes meeting with Airbus Group head of procurement strategy and several of their largest suppliers, and executives from American companies with operations in the Greater Toulouse area.

Companies that joined the 2015 Commerce trade delegation to the Paris Air Show have so far logged over $125 million in revenue as a result of their participation.

Companies with exhibits in the Choose Washington booth

AIM Aerospace, announced the acquisition of Quatro Composites in February.

Industrial Machine Tool, specialists in sales and service of large capacity used machine tools since 1979.

National Precision Bearing, specialists in precision bearing solutions for aerospace, defense, industrial and medical.

AIT/Nova-Tech Engineering, part of the factory automation giant Advanced Integration Technology, the Lynwood, Wash.-based company was selected by Airbus to provide the fourth A320 production line in Hamburg, Germany.

Orion Industries, a social enterprise, recently won its third Boeing Supplier of the Year, and seventh consecutive award for performance excellence, for an aerospace manufacturing division partnership that helps train and employ individuals with barriers, such as learning disabilities, low income and mental health challenges.

Pioneer Industries, the award-winning social enterprise is a build-to-print manufacturer specializing in sheet metal fabrication and precision Computer Numerical Controls (CNC) machining for commercial aerospace parts, earning community and industry accolades for its work to train and employ individuals leaving incarceration and addiction treatment programs – currently 450 men and women – in three manufacturing plants that produced over 1.76 million parts last year.

Renton Coil Spring, started a few blocks from Boeing in 1949, RCS developed titanium springs in a joint venture with Boeing and Douglas Aircraft that today are used in commercial and defense aircraft and by Goodrich, Honeywell, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty and some of the top motorsports teams in the world.

Sagetech provides the world’s smallest transponders for UAVs.

Seacast operates three full-service investment casting foundries and built a new titanium vacuum melting facility.

Silicon Forest Electronics is pioneering high-definition 3D automated optical inspection technology for components and solder joints, providing more accurate measurement methods that allow engineers to quickly identify and correct issues and continuously improve assembly processes for greater efficiency.

Tool Gauge, “the best kept secret in aerospace manufacturing,” announced a major expansion of its Tacoma, Wash. plant that will nearly double space available for additional injection molding equipment, expanded secondary operations, in-house paint and media blasting, expanded plastics machining capabilities, expanded administrative offices and improved environmental features.

Space, additive manufacturing are growing fast

“Additive manufacturing is a sweet spot for Washington companies, where information technology, cloud computing and robotics meet production processes and precision tools,” said Thornquist.

He said space is another growth subsector that favors Washington state’s combined strengths in information and communications technology and commercial and defense aerospace. The Washington Space Coalition is a regional trade coalition of some 30 ventures including Aerojet Rocketdyne, Blue Origin, Vulcan Aerospace, Planetary Resources, Kymetra and SpaceX.

Keeping these and all of Washington state’s 1,350 aerospace-related firms supplied with a ready pipeline of the highest skilled workers in the world is essential to maintain a competitive advantage.

The Center of Excellence (COE) for Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing is leading efforts to provide guided career pathways in high-demand careers such as mechatronics. Through a $3.8 million TechHire grant, partners in the MechaWA project developed certificate and associate degree programs in mechatronics that will launch this fall.  The Center of Excellence and the Washington Aerospace Training and Research (WATR) Center are returning delegates to the air show.

Visit our Paris Air Show web page to learn more about all the members of this year’s aerospace trade mission, and follow us on social media at @WAStateCommerce and @AerospaceFuture #PAS17. The Choose Washington exhibit is in the U.S. Pavilion, Hall3 – B81.

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