Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace has granted a 10-year contract in excess of £70 million to aerospace engineering company JJ Churchill. The deal will see the Leicestershire-based engineering firm, which employs 150 people, supply Rolls-Royce with high precision turbine blades for the next decade.
“It really is a massive step forward in our strategy to move from a very high quality SME manufacturer into a highly renowned gas turbine supplier that has the opportunity to tender for much larger products,” said Andrew Churchill, executive chairman of JJ Churchill.
The contract will see the continuation of the partnership between Rolls-Royce and JJ Churchill go from strength to strength. “It is enormous strengthening. The previous longest long-term agreement we has was a five-year duration and it was a fraction of the size, smaller than a tenth of this contract – so it’s very important,” added Andrew.
In order to be successful in this contract and in the future, JJ Churchill has been investing in new technologies and new strategies. “We have put in a number of very high calibre new positions in place to strengthen and bolster our journey to mid-cap. We have invested very substantially both in capacity and in technology,” said Andrew.
As well as continuing to use its key technology – the VIPER grinding – the team at JJ Churchill is introducing another technology to the business. “We are also employing new associated technologies that would normally be outsourced and subcontracted to third parties, we are bringing them in-house. For example, die sinking, which is used on turbine blades to create slots,” explained Churchill.
The crucial element in keeping a successful business is having a long-term view for the future. “There is substantial opportunity, but you must have a long-term strategy that helps you identify specifically what pockets of growth you want to go after. Then you must invest in the right people, the right capacity and invest in innovation to be able to support that,” concluded Andrew.