Birmingham-based Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has taken new steps to ensure its multi-million pound Chinese operation meets UK standards when the plant launches next year.
The company, which employs almost 300 people at its base in Erdington, is keen that the new retreading venture is a success to aid its expansion into the fast growing Asian aerospace market and is anxious to leave nothing to chance. It has recruited a new operations director to work alongside managers in China to ensure that UK best practice procedures are adopted at the Xiamen plant.
The man with responsibility for the work is Marc Jordan, who has been recruited by Dunlop from Trelleborg Group in Germany.
In addition to this, Mr Jordan will also be responsible for ensuring that sufficient new tyre capacity is in place to support Dunlop's ambitious international expansion plan.
Mr Jordan has held senior operations management positions in the aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, marine, production and rail sectors, and in his last role he won national industry awards for lean transformation and environmental excellence.
Mr Jordan said: "I look forward to calling upon my experience to implement techniques to maximise operational efficiency in terms of quality and delivery improvement.
"Dunlop Aircraft Tyres has a history spanning almost 100 years, but with the company's international expansion and its ability to benefit from the growth in military and civil aircraft deliveries, arguably there has never been a more exciting time to be joining the company."
The Chinese joint venture is in collaboration with Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering and Taikoo Aircraft Engineering.
Dunlop was anxious to reach agreement with an Asian partner as its penetration into the region had been restricted by its Europe-based retreading facilities, which represented an uneconomic option for airlines located in the Asia Pacific rim.
Dunlop Aircraft Tyres' chairman Ian Edmondson said it was vital to the firm's plans that its operation was as efficient as possible. This would ensure that quality remained high and customers received deliveries on time.
"Supported by new investment to continue to expand our capacity, Marc will ensure that our facility can fully meet future customer demands," he said. "Marc will also provide guidance and direction to our general manager in China. It is important for the retention of our various airworthiness approvals that the operation there follows best practice procedures adopted by our Birmingham retread facility," he added.
Joining Mr Jordan as manufacturing support manager is fellow Trelleborg employee John Greenwood.
Mr Greenwood, who has considerable management experience in the rubber industry, will spearhead manufacturing improvements.
Dunlop, the world's only dedicated aircraft tyre manufacturer and retreader, specialises in the supply of aircraft tyres and tubes. The company's high profile customers include major international airlines, aircraft constructors, wheel and brake manufacturers and maintenance facilities.