Negocios / Carlisle Interconnect Technologies: an aerospace giant

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies: an aerospace giant

The Mexican plant owned by this American manufacturer of high performance aircraft wire and cable, accounts for a sixth of the 650 million usd the company generates every year in revenues.
A catalogue of 20,000 products and global sales of 650 million USD a year make Carlisle Interconnect Technologies a giant on the international aerospace market. A couple of years ago, the company set its sights on Mexico, where it proceeded to acquire industrial facilities that today account for a sixth of its annual earnings.

In Mexico, the Company has been operating since 1982 under Collectron's Shelter Plan Program. "We are the largest manufacturer of aircraft wiring in the world. Our aerospace division generates 650 million USD a year," said Carlisle Interconnect Technologies President John Berlin in interview with Negocios.

"Of this figure, 100 million USD is generated by our plants in Nogales, Sonora," adds Adolfo Centeno, Director of the company's Mexican operations.

Carlisle's origins date back to the first half of the 20th century. Initially, it supplied the US Air Force and with the passing of time, it evolved into the company it is today –a leader in its market niche with manufacturing presence in the US, England, Switzerland, China and, of course, Mexico but sales all over the world.

The decision to begin operating in Mexico was based on the strategic advantages the country offers. "Carlisle acquired facilities in Nogales, Sonora. Today, this plant manufactures aircraft wiring for the commercial, aerospace, military and communications sectors. Basically, we supply electrical wiring for aircraft flight control, display, sound, voice, lighting and data transmission functions," says Berlin. "Special wiring that can withstand high and extreme temperatures," adds Centeno.

The quality of its products and the thoroughness with which the company oversees every phase of its production processes have qualified it for major industry certifications like the ISO 9001:2000 and the AS 9100:2004, among others.

Carlisle Interconnect Technologies employs some 3,300 people worldwide. In Mexico, it has a workforce of 500 people engaged in the manufacture of 4,500 products from its extensive catalogue for customers like Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Northrop Gruman, Lockheed Martin and Fokker Technologies.

Berlin and Centeno agree that the ready availability of skilled labor in Mexico and the code of ethics it complies with are a plus that the company has had the vision to exploit.

Centeno states that professionally, Sonora has a large number of universities and technical schools that enable Carlisle to develop employees with a high degree of technical knowledge.

Nogales has a population of 400,000 people and over 35,000 manufacturing employees. It has 110 manufacturing facilities from the Fortune 200, Fortune 500 and privately owned companies. According to local government figures, Sonora has more than 50 aerospace related companies.

Plans for the future include the expansion of the Nogales plant from 9,000 to approximately 17,000 square meters –proportional to the projected increase in output, says Centeno.

According to Berlin, this expansion is merely "phase one" of a five-year plan to double the capacity of its Mexican facilities.

Centeno believes conditions for the growth of Mexico's aerospace sector are ripe, especially in Sonora, proof of that being the number of manufacturers that are flocking to the region.

"I'm excited to be in Nogales with Carlisle. Business has been good and the environment has been very favorable. Our future is here," concludes Berlin.

Camino a Santa Teresa No. 1679, Col. Jardines del Pedregal, Del. Álvaro Obregón, C.P. 01900 México D.F., Tel. +52 (55) 5447 7070