In challenging times of transformation, looking back can provide the courage needed for the future. This is one reason why PFW Aerospace GmbH in Speyer – part of the Hutchinson Group since 2019 – now celebrated its 110th birthday. In an official ceremony, customers of the traditional company, which is part of the Hutchinson Group, as well as the Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer, and Hutchinson CEO Hélène Moreau-Leroy, came together to honor the history of the city’s largest employer and at the same time look positively into the future.
“In the world, there are only a handful of companies in the aerospace industry that are older than 100 years. PFW Aerospace is one of them. And alongside our customers, we look to the future with confidence – also because history has taught us that this company has excellent resilience in times of crisis,” said PFW CEO Stefan Zimmermann in welcoming the company. This was also confirmed by Minister President Malu Dreyer: “We are pleased to have this progressive and socially cooperative plant here in our state. Without PFW, no aircraft would fly and we are proud that the innovative spirit of this company makes it a mainstay in Rhineland-Palatinate’s industry.”
PFW Aerospace GmbH is the largest company in the aerospace sector in Rhineland-Palatinate and also the largest employer in the industrial sector in the city of Speyer. The company with its highly specialized workforce is the world market leader for piping systems in aircraft and also supplies structural assemblies and components made of metal, titanium, aluminum and plastics for aircraft construction worldwide.
Hutchinson CEO Hélène Moreau-Leroy looked back on a short way – to 2019, when PFW Aerospace GmbH was incorporated into the Hutchinson Group: “Today, 1,400 people work in Speyer. At the Izmir, Nuneaton and Toulouse sites, as well as Hamburg, there are a further total of around 400. We are proud to celebrate this extraordinary birthday, and we are certain that we will realize the 40% growth targeted for PFW by 2027.”
Thorsten Fischer, Finance Director Airbus Operations GmbH, spoke on behalf of one of the two most important customers of the Speyer-based supplier: “Companies – unlike people – do not grow older all by themselves. PFW demonstrates an impressive ability to change and adapt, without which a company cannot live to be 110 years old.” For 110 years, PFW has had the ability to face reality and demonstrate resilience at the same time. Says Thorsten Fischer: “This requires engineers who create solutions and strong shareholders who are willing to recognize this potential.”
Another important customer was represented by Dr. Michael Haidinger. He is President Boeing Germany, Benelux, Central and Eastern Europe, and he emphasized, “PFW is definitely of great importance to the global aerospace industry. It is a company whose engineers have frequently redefined the boundaries of what is possible. We have been a customer for seven years and have had more than 20,000 parts delivered by PFW. Each with a quality and on-time delivery rating of 99%!”
A “milestone” set at the Speyer factory site to mark the anniversary commemorates the 110th birthday and successful history of the company, which was founded in 1913 as Pfalz Flugzeugwerke GmbH, and from which the first military biplane was built in 1914, flying as far as Namibia with only two stops in between.