Trident Industries Inc.
Trident Industries Inc. was founded by Angelo Baccalaro, in 1976, and since then the company has maintained a strong presence in the aerospace industry, creating a culture of continuous improvement that ensures that all the company processes add value to the products and end users. Trident provides the aerospace industry with superior quality products and service through constant product improvement, competitive lead times, and cost-effective strategies.
Trident Industries focuses on machining aircraft components such as wing structural components (ribs, fittings and longerons), landing gear components, flight controls, splines, engine nacelle, pylons, manifolds, cylinders and anything required to build a safe airplane. The company remains on top of the latest technological and manufacturing developments, using the latest technologies and the latest materials used in the industry such as aluminum alloys, titanium alloys, and steels. The company capabilities include a full range of machining shapes and sizes (two, three, four, and five axes CNC machining, to sizes up to 120x32x32 inches).
In the earlier days of aviation, casting and forging was the only way to create these complex parts, but over the last two decades, the aerospace industry drifted towards machined parts as the machining technologies offer significant technological advantages. The aerospace industry continues to focus on increasing efficiency of the planes by reducing weight. That is why today’s aviation industry components require more complex machines and machining methods that deliver the product according to the complex customer specifications.
Today, Osvaldo Baccalaro, President, leads the company and its 85 employees, finding new ways to increase efficiencies, and competitiveness of Trident Industries in the manufacturing sphere that’s becoming more and more competitive due to the global nature of the aerospace business.
“We have focused on the aerospace industry since the beginning, and we gathered significant expertise in this field. We focus on machining complex multi-axis components, and the technology evolved to the point where we are able to machine anything out of a solid square block, making this technology cheaper and more efficient for the OEMs. Our lead times are much shorter and compressed compared to casting or forging, and this also gives us an advantage as the manufacturers expect short lead times,” says Baccalaro.
The company holds a number of industry certifications such as AS 9100 rev C, and ISO 9001-2008, and Trident Industries also meets individual customer standards as a Bombardier approved supplier (VIP supplier), Bell Helicopter approved supplier (classified parts supplier, selected for MACH program), and Goodrich Landing Gear (DSQAR represented).
The company saw significant challenges due to globalized nature of the industry and outsourcing of parts manufacturing to low cost countries. These manufacturers have the same technology as their North American counterparts, yet they still lack the expertise needed to create a quality competitive product; however, they represent a significant business threat for the future.
“Manufacturers in these countries have the financial means to have the latest equipment, but remain behind in terms of expertise. They are very aggressive in their pursuit of talent internationally, and their products are slowly becoming more competitive. As a Canadian company we are very aware and continue to improve our processes to provide a value added service. It is our expertise that these companies will never be able to replicate,” says Baccalaro.
As part of this added value, Trident Industries provides its expertise in creating the most efficient parts possible, helping OEMs designers co-design parts that provide higher quality, better lead time and lower weight, and the company also maintains a fully segregated assembly facility for installation of fasteners, helicoils, bushings/bearings, etc. to provide a value added service.
The bulk of the company work is with Bombardier Aerospace and Bell Helicopter, and according to Baccalaro, these global aerospace OEMs face the same challenges as Trident Industries: pressure from other global manufacturers in terms of both technology and cost, with new players continuously entering the market, including Japanese Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which plans to introduce its own regional jet in the next few years, with the Chinese and Russians testing their own regional jets. “Obviously, the airlines want a safe product but also, relatively speaking, the cheapest one as well, because they are in the same, very competitive game,” says Baccalaro.
Western countries saw minimal growth in the aerospace market for the past few years, and the bulk of the aircraft sales refocused on the Middle East and Asian countries. With the economic upswing in the West, the company expects to see an increase in product demand across the whole industry that will cover both new and old markets, and this raises the question of the production keeping up with this demand.
“Over the past two years, Airbus and Boeing sold almost twice as many planes as they are able to build, so the question is how will they, and subsequently companies such as ours, be able to keep up with the demand in terms of production, in terms of workload, but also in terms of raw materials such as steel and aluminum, because even these lead times are increasing due to the demand,” says Baccalaro.
“The playing field will have to change, and there is work to be done in terms of increasing cooperation and building partnerships within the industry. There has to be an understanding across the whole supply chain that we are in this together, even including our competitors,” added Luciano Daniele, Vice-President of Operations.
Talent acquisition has also been a major concern, due to the international brain drain from the competing countries, but also the fact that the most recent graduates and experienced engineers would rather work for brand name OEMs than a smaller supplier company. To accommodate talent, Trident Industries offers stable working conditions, holding onto the workers even during the downturns in this cyclical industry, offering additional benefits such as flex time, and engaging employees to participate in the development of the projects and the company itself, making employees valuable to the overall company culture and success.
“It takes a special breed of professionals who want to do more with what they have in terms of expanding their knowledge. In a smaller company, professionals need to wear more hats, but it has its own rewards in learning new skills one may not acquire in a large company. HR strategy is becoming a main part of our success. I would even say that it’s as critical as our technological edge, and we invest as much in our HR as we do in our technology,” says Daniele.
Trident Industries plans to grow strategically in its challenging field by fostering talent and building partnerships that will benefit not just the company but also its partners, and the rest of the supply chain in the ever more competitive aerospace industry for the years to come.