Leaders of Michigan’s $6.4B Aerospace Manufacturing Gather at Weldaloy


Three takeaways from the AIAM luncheon presenters:

    • Michigan ranks in the top five states for aerospace manufacturing
    • Cybersecurity compliance is not only necessary, it the law
    • Investment is critical to meeting future demand
Aerospace Outlook is Strong

While covid decimated the commercial air travel business, the demand for space initiatives grew dramatically. Now that covid concerns are dissipating, commercial aviation is ramping up rapidly to meet projected demands. Boeing’s forecast is for more than 43,000 deliveries by 2040, and competitor Airbus estimated demand at more than 39,000 deliveries.

Michigan’s skilled, tech-savvy manufacturing workforce has capitalized on the booming aerospace sector, generating more than $6.4 billion in annual revenue, placing the state in the top five of aerospace manufacturing, according to Jeff Simek, AIAM Treasurer and General Manager of RCO Engineering and Aerospace.

Simek listed five aerospace industry mega-trends driving the demand:

  • Advanced air mobility
  • Decarbonization
  • Private space initiatives
  • Autonomous systems
  • Digital development
Major Michigan aerospace suppliers include ArconicGE AviationEatonKalitta Air, GE Aviation/Johnson Technology, Pratt & Whitney, and Parker.
Aerospace accounted for $6.4 billion in economic activity for Michigan in 2019
Mandatory Cybersecurity Compliance Deadline is Looming

Ryan Bonner, a Board Member of Prescott Cybersecurity, made a compelling case for aerospace companies to heed the quickly approaching deadline for Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).

As of March 2023, aerospace business must have government-mandated security protocols in place. Bonner presented a cost-effective, seven step, three phase best-in-class cybersecurity solution that Prescott offers to ensure businesses are compliant with CMMC regulations, as the cyber threat is real and escalating.

CMMC compliance takes effect March 2023
Investing for Aerospace Demand

To meet the growing demand in aerospace requires manufacturers to invest in facilities and capacity. Weldaloy VP/COO Andrew Smith presented the company’s expansion that will allow the forging of larger parts.

“Within a few months, Weldaloy will be able to produce seamless rolled rings as large as 120 inches,”said Smith. “We’ll also be adding a 3,000 ton press, larger furnaces, a fully automated NADCAP heat treat line, and an independent metallurgy lab.” Construction of the new facility is underway; completion is scheduled for early 2023.

“Weldaloy is a dominant supplier of forged parts for numerous space initiatives. We are building to better serve our current partners and expand our footprint in the aviation and power generation industries.”

For 75 years, Weldaloy has specialized in forging titanium, nickel, stainless steel and copper.

Weldaloy’s Chaplain, John King, opened the meeting with prayer. Catering was provided by world-famous Mudgie’s Deli.

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AIAM Promotes Michigan Aerospace Manufacturing

The luncheon was held on the five year anniversary of the AIAM founding. AIAM is committed to building awareness of Michigan’s aerospace manufacturers, and provides a comprehensive and strategic approach to aerospace networking, legislative advocacy, and talent development and attraction. Currently, almost 1,000 Michigan aerospace manufacturing companies belong to AIAM.

Weldaloy Specialty Forgings was the host sponsor the AIAM luncheon, co-sponsored by Motul. Macomb County Michigan Planning and Economic Development was the lunch sponsor and United Technical was the registration sponsor. Motul, United Technical, and Siemens exhibited.

Tony Vernaci is the President of AIAM; other board members include aerospace industry notables Chairman Matt Eurich (Genuen), Larry Martin (GE Aviation), Treasurer Jeff Simek (RCO Aerospace), Secretary Michael Stratton (Woodward), Alex Vlielander (Liebherr), Dr. Kevin Michaels (AeroDynamic Advisory), Todd Brassard (Calumet), Sara McMurray (Autocam Medical), Mark Schmidt (Eaton), Dr Mirko Gamba (University of Michigan Aerospace Engineering), and Ryan Dean (Pratt & Whitney).

AIAM Presents AeroOne September 7-8, 2022

AeroOne is an AIAM sponsored summit of aerospace OEMs, suppliers and thought leaders that will be held September 7-8, 2022 at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. Weldaloy Specialty Forgings is the cocktail hour reception sponsor. Other sponsorships are available here.

Michigan aerospace suppliers are located in every part of the state.
Michigan Aerospace Industry Capabilities
  • Aircraft Production
  • Engines & Critical Engine Component
  • Avionics
  • Fuel Systems
  • Flight Controls
  • Super Alloy Castings
  • Machining
  • Major Structural Tooling
  • Automation
  • Industry R&D
  • Non-Destructive Testing
  • Surface Treatment
  • Packaging
  • Engineering Services
  • Electronics
  • Motion Control
  • Hydraulics
  • Thermo Analytics
  • Wire Harness
  • Printed Circuit Boards
  • Structural Components
  • Landing Gear
  • Composites
  • Inventory Management
  • Support Equipment
  • 3D-Printing (Additive Manufacturing)
  • Aircraft Interiors
  • Pilot Training
  • Space Technology
  • Satellite Production
  • Airframe & Powerplant Technician Training
  • Wireless Measurement Systems
  • Aftermarket Repair & Overhaul