Moog’s local company starts |  Local business

Moog’s local company starts | Local business

In just one building at Moog Inc.’s sprawling Elma campus, workers manufacture parts for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, ensuring the planes fly with military precision.

Aircraft components are a big part of the Moog picture, but they’re far from the only part.

The motion control equipment maker’s parts helped get the Perseverance rover to Mars last year, and the company makes technology for weapons systems and medical equipment, among other applications.

Moog takes a long-term view of the business projects it covers, said John Scannell, chairman and CEO.

“We’ve been playing for a very, very long time,” he said. “When we take on a new program, a new military or commercial aircraft program, the way I describe it to investors is that it’s not my pension fund, it’s my children’s pension fund, and they’re just starting their working careers.” how far we think when we think about the investments we make.”

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Perseverance (copy)

Moog components helped get the Perseverance rover safely to Mars.

NASA image via Associated Pres

With high-paying jobs, strong customer relationships and technical know-how, Moog’s operations are the type of manufacturing that regional business recruiters want more of.

With engineering and skilled technical jobs, Moog is attracting the kind of talent to the region that local development officials say is critical to the region’s economic growth.

And Moog executives have big plans.

The publicly traded company is on track for $3 billion in revenue this fiscal year, which ends around early October. Moog shows no signs of slowing down in jobs, investments or acquisitions:

• State officials recently celebrated Moog’s $25 million investment in its operations. USD. This happened after 44 million USD investment that Moog recently completed in a project that supports its aircraft business.

• Moog is the largest manufacturer in the region, with approximately 4,000 jobs, and one of the largest private employers in the region. Her presence extends far beyond Western New York. Moog has a total of approximately 13,300 employees at 25 locations worldwide.

• Acquisitions fueled its growth. Moog acquired the Irish-based engineering and aerospace business earlier this year. And in 2020 at the end of the year, the company acquired Texas-based Genesys Aerosystems Group for $78 million.

• Moog continues to develop new product areas by partnering with Doosan Bobcat to design and build an all-electric compact track loader.

• Since 1988 Moog has had stable management with only two different CEOs. Scannell was appointed CEO in 2011. at the end, and later added the position of chairman. He succeeded Robert Brady, who had been CEO for more than two decades, leading Moog on a remarkable turnaround. By the time Scannell became CEO, he had spent 21 years with Moog in Europe and the US.

Moog technology

Product delivery technician Tyler Martin inspects a military aircraft part at Moog Inc.

Mark Mulville/Buffalo News

Advocates say Moog’s location in the region is good for the manufacturing sector.

“We are very fortunate to have Moog in Western New York and their commitment to Western New York,” said Peter Ahrens, executive director of the Buffalo Niagara Manufacturing Alliance. “I’m sure they’ve been approached a million times to come down south or move their plants to other places, but they’re so committed to the Western New York region.”

Moog helped found the Buffalo Manufacturing Works, a hub of the Northland complex that fosters innovation, and is involved in other initiatives that support manufacturing. Moog was among the companies that recently hosted a “boot camp” to train new tech workers at the Technology Academy in Seneca One Tower.

Many area businesses benefit from having Moog here because it acts as a supplier to the Elma-based company, said Ben Rand, president of Insyte Consulting, which works with manufacturers.

The number of manufacturing workers in the Buffalo-Niagara region has hovered around 52,000 in recent years, though the average has dipped slightly during the pandemic. Large employers like Moog keep pushing those numbers up.

Scott Pallotta, chairman of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership Manufacturing Council, said Moog’s presence also helps with bringing new people into the manufacturing pipeline.

“We don’t see this crisis ending anytime soon, but leading companies like Moog are helping to send the message to the community that a career in manufacturing is a great way to make a living,” said Pallotta, CEO of Zehnder Rittling. “Manufacturing has a long history and important history in Western New York, and Moog has taken a leadership role in the next phase of that history.”

John Scannell

Moog Inc. chairman and CEO John Scannell, shown at the last annual meeting of shareholders.

Derek Gee/News file photo

Moog’s distinctive feature is its diverse business lines.

While some other large manufacturers produce a single type of product, such as tires or engines, Moog has multiple business segments: aircraft controls, aerospace and defense controls, and industrial systems.

Some investors look at Moog and see a conglomerate, Scannell said. He doesn’t do that.

“Our approach is no, we’re using the same technology — motion control, fluid control — whether it’s aerospace, medical, industrial, aircraft, it’s all the same basic motion technology.

This diversification helps Moog withstand a downturn in any business area. While the commercial aircraft industry has taken a hit during the pandemic, slowing demand for more aircraft parts, some of Moog’s other segments, such as defense, have remained strong.

“Because we have this diverse end market, we tend to ride through the storms,” ​​Scannell said. “And we’re very focused on technology and capacity building and investment for a very, very long time.”

When William C. Moog Jr. in 1951 founded Moog, he gave the company local roots 71 years later. The business has expanded far beyond what he probably ever imagined, but the company’s tradition of innovation continues.

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to grow the business and leverage existing technologies and expand them into new growth markets,” Scannell said.

One such potential new market is electric construction vehicles.

“It’s early stages,” Scannell said. “We have a small volume of sales. But we think it has huge potential and we’re working with very large customers — Bobcat, which we’ve talked about, other large (OEMs), multi-billion dollar companies.”

While construction vehicles are something new, the product line draws on Moog’s expertise in systems integration and high-tech components.

“You have a system integration capability that very few players have,” Scannell said.

Growing to such a large scale also brings Moog challenges that many other companies don’t.

Under China’s strict anti-Covid-19 policy, Moog’s operations in Shanghai had to be suspended for six weeks.

Moog has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that a former employee stole trade secrets related to the unmanned helicopter and transferred them to the new startup. The Skyryse startup called the lawsuit “completely baseless.”

Last fall, Moog was the target of protests over the federal government’s planned mandate to vaccinate federal contractor workers. The vaccination requirement has not been established, with several states fighting it out in court.


Craig Wheeler, right, and Jonathan Royce, left, work on an F15 jet part at Moog Inc. in Elma.

Mark Mulville/Buffalo News

Manufacturers everywhere say they are struggling to find qualified people to fill the jobs. Moog is no exception.

“We have a bit of an advantage because it has a good reputation as a good place to work,” Jennings said. “We don’t have as much trouble as others. In fact, we tend to poach people from other companies. But we still have our challenges. We still lack the people we need: skilled machinists, good, hardworking people who want to build precision aircraft components.” .

Attention to detail and dedication to work are some of the qualities Moog looks for in new hires, Jennings said. “If we have to get the job done, we have to be flexible. And we want people who can be flexible.”

Ahrens said Moog’s job opportunities help stem the “brain drain” the region has long been known for. “If anything, people move to Buffalo to work at Moog because of the quality of their company and the wide variety of areas they work in,” he said.

Moog is constantly looking for ways to improve its level of automation, Scannell said.

“Part of it is that we have very skilled people, but it’s hard to keep recruiting those types of people,” he said. “It’s just that not many young people coming out of school want to take those opportunities, even though they’re really good jobs.”

Increased automation has improved processes, Scannell said. “But it just changes the work – it means that instead of a person holding a part, they’re now programming the system.

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