Embraer to create composites center of excellence in Portugal

Embraer (São José dos Campos, Brazil) announced in late July plans to implement two new industrial units dedicated to manufacturing complex airframe structures, one focused on metallic assemblies and the other on composites. Both will be located in the city of Évora, Portugal. The event was attended by Portugal's P

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Embraer (São José dos Campos, Brazil) announced in late July plans to implement two new industrial units dedicated to manufacturing complex airframe structures, one focused on metallic assemblies and the other on composites. Both will be located in the city of Évora, Portugal.

The event was attended by Portugal's Prime Minister José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Souza; the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; and Embraer's president/CEO Frederico Fleury Curado as well as government and press officials from both countries.

"We are pleased to announce new investments in Portugal, which represent another important strategic step towards improving Embraer's productivity and competitiveness, while also supporting the company's growth and its global presence," said Curado. "We firmly believe that these technological state-of-the-art operations will represent an important contribution to the region of Évora, as well as to Portugal and to the European Union, one of our largest and most important markets, both for our supplies and aircraft sales and services."

The selection of the city of Évora was based on several factors, including potential access to qualified labor, logistics and an existing aeronautical technological center. According to the company, the new center will incorporate automation, consistent with Embraer's lean manufacturing initiatives. The composites facility represents an estimated investment of €48 million ($71.6 million USD) over the next six years. A July 29 Bloomberg news service report suggested that Toray Industries Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) is in talks with both Embraer and Bombardier Inc. (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) to develop carbon fiber for use in composite components for each company's regional jets.