Name That Plane

Firm harnessing Detroit's expertise in manufacturing

AMD | July 6, 2010

Local workers who once welded engine racks for the auto industry may soon be stamping sheet metal for Boeing airplane roofs or NASA rocket platforms.

Local workers who once welded engine racks for the auto industry may soon be stamping sheet metal for Boeing airplane roofs or NASA rocket platforms.

That's the plan under way at former auto supplier W Industries, which is capitalizing on the dormant automotive base here to buy cheap facilities, win manufacturing contracts and employ precision workers.

W Industries, a private company headquartered at Eight Mile and Hoover in Detroit, aims to keep production in the mitten and harbors dreams of resurrecting the city through diversification into more robust industries with lower volumes but higher profits.

Like other local components makers, W Industries hopes to mobilize the region's tens of thousands of unemployed autoworkers, from line workers to engineers, to create a manufacturing hub for aerospace, defense and alternative energy.

"Our goal is to refurbish and retool former automotive facilities and retain talent with the latest technology," said chief executive Edward Walker.

Article by Jaclyn Trop / The Detroit News

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