Luring Manufacturers to the Coast

The Georgia Tech campus in Savannah was a key incentive for Firth Rixson, a manufacturer of forged metal products.

Firth Rixson Limited, a provider of highly engineered forged metal products, recently announced its expansion to Midway in Liberty County, citing the new location’s proximity to Georgia Tech Savannah as a significant incentive. The 200,000-square-foot facility will provide components for the aerospace industry, and will create at least 200 local jobs.

In Midway, Firth Rixon Forgings will have convenient access to the pipeline of talented graduates and research expertise at Georgia Tech’s Savannah campus. Ranked among the top 10 public universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech is an active partner to aerospace and other industries, providing them a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

Working with Georgia Tech’s Strategic Partners Office, Firth Rixson officials learned about a broad range of resources and expertise at Georgia Tech, in collaboration with the Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP) of the University System of Georgia. Strategic Partners Officer Greg King provided information to the company about Georgia Tech’s capabilities in industrial and systems engineering, management, metallurgy and materials, tribology, advanced manufacturing, and aerospace structures.

In addition, Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute will assist the company through its statewide network of field staff with expertise in process improvement, production design, sustainability and automation.

“The Strategic Partners Office at Georgia Tech will link Firth Rixson to campus resources, applying faculty know-how, specialized facilities and student talent to such goals as university talent acquisition, product development and improved manufacturing systems,” said King. “We can help the company identify the appropriate resources and make the right connections to develop a collaborative partnership that meets its needs.”

Firth Rixson’s Midway operation will be known as Firth Rixson Forgings LLC, and will be the company’s largest greenfield investment. The new facility will also become Firth Rixson’s fourth closed die forging facility. The majority of the more than 200 anticipated jobs will be filled from the local community, with hiring for human resources positions beginning immediately.

“One of the many benefits of locating in coastal Georgia is the opportunity to establish a lasting relationship with Georgia Tech. Our vice president of human resources, Jeff Hughes, and vice president of technology, Dave Hebert, have already engaged Georgia Tech’s Ralph Mobley, director of career services and Cynthia Jordin, associate director, in preliminary planning meetings,” said Andy Blanda, manager of mergers and acquisitions for Firth Rixson Limited. “We will soon be in contact with Yvette Upton, director of outreach and student affairs at the Savannah campus, as well. Together, we are looking forward to building a robust process for the identification of talented students at Georgia Tech, and the development of solid employment candidates for Firth Rixson.”

The aerospace industry plays a significant role in Georgia’s economy, and provides more than 80,000 jobs for aircraft manufacturers and aerospace suppliers.

“The coastal Georgia region has been successfully attracting world-class manufacturing companies to establish a presence in the region. The combination of synergies with other companies, the breadth of higher education opportunities and the outstanding quality of life make coastal Georgia a very competitive option,” said David Frost, director of Georgia Tech Savannah and a Georgia Tech vice provost. “The opportunities for close collaboration with Georgia Tech Savannah in hiring intern, co-op and permanent engineers, as well as the ability to leverage the continuing education and research capabilities of the institution, are important considerations for many companies.”

 

About Firth Rixson Limited

Headquartered in Sheffield, UK, Firth Rixson serves customers worldwide in market sectors such as aerospace, defense, power generation, transportation, petrochemical, medical and general industrial. Firth Rixson owns 11 operating facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Firth Rixson Limited (www.firthrixson.com) is owned by Oak Hill Capital Partners (www.oakhillcapital.com).

About Enterprise Innovation Institute:
The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

Research News & Publications Office
Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail (ude.hcetag.etavonninull@noot.nhoj).

Writer: Nancy Fullbright

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The Enterprise Innovation Institute collaborated with Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial and Systems Engineering to support development of the NCR Corporation’s advanced manufacturing facility in Columbus. Shown discussing the facility are Professor Dave Goldsman (right) and student Thomas Teyrasse.