Shining a spotlight on the Sonora aerospace cluster
January 14, 2015
Mexico's aerospace industry is growing quickly, and Sonora, its second largest state, is home to one of the most rapidly growing aerospace clusters in the country. Located in the most northwestern part of Mexico, Sonora directly borders Arizona and reaps the benefits of great energy sources, access to local seaports and a major highway system that leads directly into the U.S. As Mexico continues to grow as a global manufacturing power, it secures an even stronger foothold in the aerospace vertical.
Precision aerospace machining in Mexico
Beyond its good transportation capabilities and infrastructure, Mexico gleans its competitive manufacturing edge from low-cost labor and a wealth of skilled workers. According to a report by the George Washington University, Mexico has the largest number of engineering graduates in the Americas. Many workers have participated in technology programs at universities or are educated engineers, making them a rare commodity in the offshoring world. Not only is the labor force in Mexico well-suited to the needs of suppliers expanding into the country, but it also maintains much more stable wages than other overseas options.
Manufacturers in Mexico serve a constantly-growing aerospace industry by producing items such as aircraft engine parts, airplane interiors, fuselages, wire harnesses, landing gear, fuel level indicators, turbines, engine parts and cabin interiors, just to name a handful. Aerospace exports from Mexico reached $4.3 billion in 2011 - and this number is only growing as manufacturing in Mexico becomes more efficient and cost-effective.
Sonora's aerospace cluster
According to Rolls-Royce, who opened a supply chain management office in Sonora in 2012,one-third of advanced manufacturing companies in the aerospace industry are located in Sonora. The state's aerospace efforts stem from electronics and have now expanded to encompass 45 companies and 7,000 jobs in casting, machining, and secondary processes in the aerospace manufacturing industry.
Sonora alone exports close to 164 million dollars, mainly to the United States, says the George Washington University, partially in thanks to its impressive workforce and partially in thanks to the abundance of Mexican industrial parks and the ingrained manufacturing culture of the area.
Tetakawi in Sonora
Maquilas Tetakawi provides Mexican Shelter Plan services to Offshore Group clients manufacturing in the maquiladoras of Guaymas and Empalme, Sonora in the Roca Fuerte and Bella Vista industrial parks. A number of aerospace companies, such as Horst Engineering and Ducommun Aerostructures, manufacture in the Sonora aerospace cluster in conjunction with Tetakawi. This location allows clients to not only take advantage of the cost savings associated with offshoring in Mexico, but also the advanced knowledge and skills of workers and ample manufacturing infrastructure.
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