Ken Yates - Programmes Manager
Martin-Baker is a privately owned family business that has become world-famous for the supply of military aircraft ejection seats. The company has produced over 68,700 ejection seats since 1949, supplying over 90 Air Forces world-wide. The Martin-Baker designs have been selected for over 202 different aircraft types and to date have saved more than 6,700 aircrew lives. Our seats save, on average, two or three lives a week. More than 17,500 ejection seats remain in service, the majority of which are over 20 years old and still need to be fully supported.
The Chairman of the company is the cousin of the late founder, Sir James Martin, and the chairman's two sons are the joint Managing Directors. The directors, like their father, are engineers. They are great enthusiasts for the product and actively run the company, day-to-day. No directorships are available outside the family.
The company has been in uninterrupted business since 1948. Looking back over the years, it is interesting to see that working with the Americans has put the company where it is today.
Because of the wide and diverse range of products that remain in service, we have to maintain many of the traditional capabilities in parallel with more modern industry standards and technologies. We have to be able to mix and match our resources and management style with each new project to suit particular customer requirements. These can be diverse and unique. We operate with a wide range of capabilities and supporting technology to service all these different demands.
The business has to continuously adapt to changing requirements. Many traditional elements such as hand drawn engineering drawings, manufacturing tooling and processes have to be maintained alongside the latest techniques. Computer aided engineering (CAE) systems are used on later projects such as Eurofighter, and the American Joint Strike Fighter.
All the elements of what this company did are part of a methodology you can learn - adaptable to any product development project from the totally new to just a small change. Develop products that customers clamour to buy. Cut the cost of developing them. Cut the cost of manufacturing them. Drastically reduce the time it takes to develop them. Learn how...