Regal Rexnord Aerospace and Defense, previously Rexnord Aerospace, long established as the industry leader in aerospace bearings, seals, electrical components, and gears, is now increasingly providing vertically integrated electromechanical motion control solutions. We buckle up and explore the company’s evolving story with Senior Director of Operations, Jamison Rediehs.
A RICH HISTORY OF FLIGHT
Across North America, the colossal aerospace industry finds itself in the midst of a very exciting period.
Production demand has resolutely rebounded in a post-COVID-19 pandemic environment, with the sector driving a significant amount of innovation as it strives for enhanced sustainability.
Keeping aerospace applications moving for more than 60 years, Regal Rexnord has satisfied the needs and critical demands of the industry with exceptional quality bearings, seals, electrical components, and gear services for use all over the world for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
As the premier leader in the supply of highly engineered specialty bearings and mechanical seals, Regal Rexnord products can be found in every aspect of the aerospace landscape, from engine systems and flight controls to landing gear and aircraft structures.
“Whether it’s the rudder of a plane or landing gear, our products help provide a smooth operation,” sets out Jamison Rediehs, Senior Director of Operations for the company.
With an impressive global production footprint, Regal Rexnord provides highly engineered products and solutions to meet its customers’ needs.
Complementing this, the company’s sales professionals provide support as required and offer solutions tailored to meet client specifications.
Altogether, the Regal Rexnord team delivers on its promise to provide the lowest total cost of ownership and valuable expertise solutions that enhance the ease of doing business with the company.
“Our goal is to consistently create superior value for our customers,” he adds.
Having been in the manufacturing sector his entire career, Rediehs has always been interested in all things mechanical and developed an initial fascination with flight when he was a child.
“I recall reading the story of the Wright brothers’ first flight over and over again and I marvelled at their ingenuity, so when given the opportunity to work in the aerospace industry I jumped at the chance,” he recalls fondly.
FORGING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Regal Rexnord takes its corporate social responsibility (CSR) very seriously.
“We are driven by our purpose – to create a better tomorrow by energy-efficiently converting power into motion. We live according to this purpose and it’s visible in the products and solutions we provide to our customers and in the manufacturing methods we deploy to produce them,” Rediehs enthuses.
As a corporation, Regal Rexnord has committed to achieving carbon emission neutrality across scopes 1 and 2 by 2032, and to improve this to net zero across all three scopes by 2050.
“We are also proud to share that these commitments have resulted in the company being recognized as one of America’s Greenest Companies in the 2024 ranking performed by Newsweek,” he shares proudly.
This ranking reflects Regal Rexnord’s performance in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water usage, and waste generation, as well as its environmental commitments and disclosures.
Finally, Regal Rexnord encourages its teams to stay involved in their local communities. This commitment has been demonstrated through volunteering at food pantries, forest clean-ups, flag planting on Memorial Day, blood drives, Meals on Wheels initiatives, and local club support – to name just a few examples.
“Our goal is for our teams to engage directly in the communities where they live and work, and to make a positive impact on their local surroundings.”
STRENGTH IN COLLABORATION
Across all industries and sectors, every successful supply chain is made up of the interconnected parts of a whole, all of which add up to a high-quality final product that is bought by customers.
In this way, Regal Rexnord relies on critical supply chain partners for purchased components and services. From intricate machined componentry to special processes certified by the National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program (NADCAP), the company’s supply chain is vital to its ongoing success.
“Each component we manufacture relies on our supply chain partners to perform a service or provide a critical component of the assembly,” certifies Rediehs.
“Our best relationships are rooted in partnerships that have been forged through long-term collaboration that has enhanced our supply chain’s resilience,” he continues.
The foundation of this effective model of collaboration is open communication and transparent information sharing that fosters real-time problem-solving and continuous process improvement. In this manner, the company’s partners benefit from the extension of the Regal Rexnord Business System (RBS) that continuously drives improved process performance.
Equally crucial to Regal Rexnord’s prosperity is its expert team, which forms the backbone of its entire breadth of operation. Furthermore, empowering and recognizing the contributions of staff in a manufacturing environment is crucial for fostering a positive workplace culture, boosting associate engagement, and improving overall productivity.
“We try to empower our team with training and development opportunities and by involving them in decision-making and problem-solving through our continuous improvement efforts,” Rediehs tells us.
Regal Rexnord recognizes the outstanding efforts of its associates in a number of ways. First, the company stresses that its environment must operate safely and has created formal recognition programs for the best-suggested safety improvements each month.
“We also promote the best problem-solving and process improvement efforts with regular awards and acknowledgment throughout the facility. We also hold employee of the quarter awards every three months that include recognition at all-hands meetings. The bigger picture – the company is aggressively investing to grow its aerospace business, and a key focus of that investment is in its associates, ranging from skill and leadership development to offering a range of opportunities for career advancement.”
As part of a thrilling new development, Regal Rexnord has begun the process of expanding its operations by opening a new aerospace manufacturing production facility in Chihuahua, Mexico.
As demand has rebounded, Regal Rexnord recognized the need for additional capacity in the new environment with its trademark aerospace pedigree and a skilled workforce.
The new facility, which will bring an additional 125,000 square feet (sqft) to the company’s operations, will support the significant growth Regal Rexnord is currently experiencing as a result of an increase in product demand as well as the overall recovery of the aerospace market.
“Our new facility was built with environmental sustainability in mind, evidenced by solar panel arrays, LED lighting, high-efficiency windows, and water conservation features,” excites Rediehs.
The state-of-the-art facility keeps sustainability at the forefront by incorporating solar energy to support production needs and other energy-efficient features to drive the company’s net zero carbon footprint goals.
“The Chihuahua facility will increase our production capacity to better support the growth of our highly valued customers. This will allow us to increase production, decrease lead times, and get products into our customers’ hands faster,” Rediehs shares.
With more hands on deck, the company’s production-to-order process will become more efficient, making business with Regal Rexnord seamless.
“Our team is consistently dedicated to investing in customer-driven innovation, continuous improvement, and increasing production capacity to ensure that we offer the best experiences and support to our partners all around the globe – this new facility is just one way we are doing this,” he continues.
“Our targets for the coming year include leveraging our capacity investment in Chihuahua, to manufacture high-quality products to meet customer needs. The team in Mexico is highly skilled, motivated, and excited to be a part of the Regal Rexnord ecosystem and we will continue to expand our presence in the region throughout the year.”
Regal Rexnord recently acquired leading power transmission and factory automation provider, Altra Industrial Motion. With nearly $2 billion in annual sales, the addition of Altra significantly enhances the Company’s capabilities in a range of strategic end markets – including aerospace. The Altra acquisition includes reputable brands such as Kollmorgen, Formsprag, Portescap, Boston Gear, and Thomson Linear to cover the entire range of electromechanical products.
Rediehs commented, “Through the combination of our legacy aerospace business with that of Altra, we have a more comprehensive product portfolio and a scalable global platform and footprint to expand from selling components to also providing vertically integrated electromechanical motion control solutions.”
This year also promises to bring exciting opportunities from a product development standpoint to vertically integrate Regal Rexnord components into higher-level electro-mechanical actuators.
“We have multiple product lines and brands that design, manufacture, and test electro-mechanical actuators in industrial markets. Additionally, with the electrification of aircraft, and the emerging electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft market, Regal Rexnord Aerospace & Defense is extremely well positioned.”
Rediehs concluded, “We are extremely excited about the opportunities in front of us at Regal Rexnord to serve our customers with many new, compelling products, and as we do so, to create many exciting opportunities for our associates.