Kaman focuses capabilities on customer success
March 4, 2013, Las Vegas, Nv. - Kaman Corporation is streamlining and expanding its aerospace operations to ensure that rotorcraft customers benefit fully from the global company’s growing design, manufacturing, testing and tooling capabilities and highly experienced engineering workforce.
By Carey Fredericks
The Bloomfield, Conn.-based company has realigned its Kaman Aerospace Group, invested in manufacturing facilities and efficiency improvements and acquired new engineering, certification and composites manufacturing capabilities. Kaman Aerospace is exhibiting at Heli-Expo 2013, at Booth N4112 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“Realigning ourselves as ‘One Kaman’ will ensure that all of our experience and expertise is focused on efficiently meeting customers’ requirements,” said Gary Tenison, vice president, Business Development and Marketing for Kaman Aerospace Group. “Kaman’s legacy as a rotorcraft OEM, our broad capabilities and our highly experienced engineers uniquely position us to help helicopter manufacturers, suppliers and operators succeed.”
Kaman’s rotorcraft include the K-MAX® utility helicopter tailored for vertical-reference missions, the maritime SH-2G Super Seasprite and the Unmanned K-MAX® aerial system, which it developed with Lockheed Martin to resupply U.S. Marine Corps forces in Afghanistan. The Unmanned K-MAX, which the Marines have called a life-saving combat multiplier, is a 2012 finalist for the prestigious Collier Trophy “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.”
‘One Kaman’ brings all of the company’s aerospace operations under the leadership of Greg Steiner, President, Kaman Aerospace Group, and streamlines the organization. The group’s two major units, Aerosystems and Engineered Products, are organized by functional requirements rather than products. Led by President Jim Larwood, Aerosystems’ primary operating functions will be focused on Air Vehicles and MRO, Composite Structures, Engineering Services, and Integrated Structures and Metallics. Engineered Products reports to Steiner and includes the Fuzing & Precision Products and Specialty Bearings and Engineered Products divisions.
Kaman has facilities throughout the U.S. and in the U.K. and Germany. A wide range of civil and military rotorcraft operators around the world benefit day to day from advanced structures, main rotor blades and bearings designed, built, tested and supported by the company. Kaman’s full-service aerospace innovation and manufacturing support center is advancing composite rotor blade technology.
The company’s application of continuous improvement processes at its Chihuahua, Mexico facility, which opened in 2010 to perform low-cost metallic detail parts and assembly manufacturing, and its Jacksonville, Fla. lines and other facilities has boosted manufacturing efficiency. This initiative has enabled Kaman to accelerate rotor blade production for Kaman, Bell Helicopter, Boeing, MD Helicopters and Sikorsky Aircraft rotorcraft. For example, the company has increased Bell rotor blade deliveries by 50 percent with no additional staffing or overtime.
The heart of Kaman’s capabilities is its 200-plus engineers; roughly three quarters of whom have more than 15 years of experience. Kaman programs have involved design, analysis and testing to meet functional requirements for shock, vibration, fatigue, flight loads, crash loads, environmental, thermal and electromagnetic interference shielding.