PPG Completes CA Aviation Tech Expansion
Last week, global coatings company PPG announced that it had completed the $15 million expansion at its Sylmar Manufacturing Facility in Sylmar, California.
The project, which is reported to be the latest milestone in the company’s partnership with Lockheed Martin, expanded the development and production of aircraft transparency technologies for military aviation programs, including canopy transparencies for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jets.
In support of the expansion, PPG completed the qualification and manufacturing process approvals necessary to commence production of canopy transparencies for the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35A and carrier variance (CV) F-35C. Qualification work in support of the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) F-35B is underway.
“The expansion of this facility marks an incredible milestone for PPG,” said Brent Wright, PPG Global Director, Aerospace Transparencies. “As the worldwide F-35 fleet grows, logistical and industrial support has become increasingly important. Because of the F-35 fighter jet’s very stringent performance requirements and high manufacturing complexity, PPG recognized an opportunity to deploy its expertise in aircraft transparency technology, development and production in a way that will meet the program’s ambitious goals for many years to come.”
In addition to military aircraft transparency products, PPG provides aircraft windshields and windows with advanced-technology coatings and liners for specific performance characteristics to the commercial, regional and general aviation segments. The company also produces windshields for the new NTT Indycar Series' Aeroscreen cockpit protection system.
As part of the facility’s 30,000-square-foot expansion, PPG plans to deploy state-of-the-art processing equipment and new information technology infrastructure to enable enhanced digital manufacturing capabilities.
The expansion has also enabled PPG to add more than 70 engineering, production and maintenance jobs. The company reports that it will use its partnership with local charitable organizations such as the Hope Gardens Family Center through Union Rescue Mission to fill some of the positions.
Currently, the Sylmar facility has more than 500 employees in various manufacturing, technical, research, customer support and related service and administrative positions.