11. July 2016
Workers at Valence Tri-Process in Paramount, CA.
Valence Surface Technologies, one of the largest independent special processing company, has expanded capability, capacity and approvals at its locations throughout the United States. Company officials say the expansion takes direct aim at addressing the constrained global supply chain for special processing within the aerospace and defense industries.
They say the lack of efficient supply for special processing represents a growing challenge that has led to increased lead times, costly logistics inefficiencies, high work in process inventories which is negatively impacting rate readiness for many key platforms.
"The growth of large commercial aerospace and military programs, such as the Airbus A350, Airbus A320NEO, Boeing 737MAX, Boeing 777X, Lockheed Martin F-35 (JSF) and the recently announced Northrop Grumman Long Range Bomber has sparked massive investment and consolidation in the manufacturing sector of the aerospace industry," said Tracy Glende, Valence CEO. "But, this investment had not occurred in the special processing sector, a crucial part of the aerospace supply chain. In fact, the existing scarce capacity within special processing is at a critical level, and outdated systems, business processes and critical operating equipment pose a serious risk to the entire supply chain. Valence recognized the growing demand and evolving needs of the aerospace industry and took action by investing significant capital resources to address these critical supply chain issues."
Over the last and across its facilities throughout the U.S., Valence has invested millions of dollars in the equipment, systems and people to solve the supply chain constraints for the aerospace and defense industry. The company's latest investments include capability, capacity and approval additions:
- Eastman, Ga. – Valence Dynamic Paint Solutions installed a 22-foot processing line adding titanium clean, etch and sol gel capability; installed a state of the art Phosphoric Acid Anodize (PAA) line for high throughput processing; developed a new process to clean, sol gel and bond titanium rotor blade components up to 22 feet in length for a major defense contractor; added shot peen capability and received Boeing and Nadcap approval; received Sikorsky approval for sol gel; received Nadcap approval for new Magnetic Particle Inspection; and received SpaceX certification for PAA and bond primer.
- Garden Grove, Calif. – Valence Coastline purchased a new laser etching system for part mark for aerospace parts and SpaceX in particular, and added key SpaceX and Northrop Grumman cleaning and processing approvals.
- Grove, Okla. – Valence Pride Plating installed a new anodize line adding high throughput boric sulfuric anodize and hard coat anodize capability of parts up to 26 feet and installed new paint booth and ovens, more than doubling prime and topcoat capacity.
- Los Angeles, Calif. – Valence Coast Plating completed facility expansion including 2 new paint facilities which have tripled capacity and a new 30-foot abrasive blast unit for large parts, and new penetrant booth doubling capacity; and the Carson facility received Lockheed Martin approval including Fracture Critical NDT, expanding capability to process parts up to 27 feet for the JSF, C130, P3 and other programs; and was added as an approved supplier for SpaceX.
- Everett, Wash. – Valence Blue Streak opened new 12,500 square-foot shot peen facility with brand new pass through machine capable of high throughput peening up to 45 feet long and new peening cabinet and forming capability; installed new 12-foot processing line adding sulfuric anodize and hard coat anodize; and installed new 12-foot titanium clean and etch line.
- Wichita, Kan. – Valence Wichita opened new 25,000 square-foot building expanding its masking, paint and inventory management capacity by 50%; installed Ti-Cad process which complements current plating, grinding and honing capabilities; and received shot peen and hardness and conductivity approval by Airbus.
- Paramount, Calif. – Valence Tri Process received AS9100 Rev C accreditation allowing for the addition of new prime approvals such as Airbus; implemented new ERP system providing more efficient scheduling; installed drilling capability for aerospace skins and panels; and added an additional shift to double capacity and reduce standard lead times to 2-3 days.
"Valence offers its customers a competitive advantage," Glende said. "Our continued capital investments across our sites improve process efficiency, enhance quality, lower risk and support our customers' growth programs. This allows customers to focus on their core competencies while partnering with a best-in-class, professional organization to handle their special processing needs. The current network of small, regional special processing businesses lacks the financial resources and professional systems to take such action. As such, Valence has become the one source aerospace and defense companies can rely upon to remedy the constrained supply chain problem."