by Stephanie Struyck Elgin • photos by Joie de Vivre Photographie
While the history of the building dates back to 1968 and was then known as Hydraulic Research, it wasn’t until April 3, 2009 when Woodward Inc. acquired the facility that sits along West Rye Canyon Road in Santa Clarita.
A worldwide company, Woodward began in 1870 and has made its name as an industry leader as an independent designer, manufacturer, and service provider of control solutions for the aerospace and energy markets. The company’s innovative fluid, combustion, electrical, and motion control systems help customers offer cleaner, more reliable, and more efficient equipment. Woodward’s products and systems are used all over the globe, with production, engineering and service facilities in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America. In 2012, the company finished strong, increasing their sales by 9 percent to almost $1.9 billion.
“The Airframe System is our group of Woodward,” states Carl Moffitt, Vice President and General Manager at Woodward. “We are one of three facilities that make up Airframe Systems, with the others being in Skokie, Illinois and Duarte, California. Woodward Santa Clarita employs approximately 750 members, with many of them bringing decades of experience to the company.”
At Woodward Santa Clarita, they design and produce many products that go on helicopters, commercial aircraft, military fixed wing aircraft and more. Thirty percent of their business is with the Smart Defense System, and the importance of perfection and precision is crucial, especially for the safety of our Armed Forces. “We design and produce Control Actuation Systems (CAS), which helps control the weapon in flight,” states Carl. “Our systems also enable precision control for weapons like the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). When we talk about precision, it’s with everything we do. We have to have a precise design and be able to produce it at the highest quality. “
“We help guide the weapon to its target,” states Charlene Lee, Finance Director. “It’s precision that makes our military personnel who are fighting for us, come home safely.”
As part of the Smart Defense System, Woodward Santa Clarita produces electromechanical actuation (EMA) Systems for guided air and gun launched munitions, air-to-air missiles as well as a fully integrated EMA Flight Control Systems for unmanned air vehicles. Woodward Santa Clarita’s products include fly-by-wire actuation systems or “smart actuators”, hydraulic actuators, servovalves, electromechanical actuators, flight deck controls that are used in fixed-wing, rotary-wing, and tilt-rotor aircraft, missiles, spacecraft, turbine engines and armored vehicles.
The F-35 Lightning, the most advanced stealth fighter with speed and agility is one of the most modern aircraft fighters today. “It’s produced by Lockheed Martin based out of Fort Worth, Texas” states Carl, “and we have flight controls that go on that aircraft which are designed and produced at this facility.”
Not only is Woodward at the forefront of providing innovative products for a better future, they are also very involved with non-profit organizations. “We believe in a commitment to our community,” states Mark Roberti, Customer Account Manager, Sales, Service & Marketing. “Not only do we want to deliver the best products possible, but we strive to encourage our members to be involved with local non-profit organizations. Woodward Santa Clarita is pleased to sponsor many events that are held in our community.”
“This past year has been an exciting time of growth and change,” states Carl. “If you look at how we have evolved over the years, it is amazing.” He continues, “I am proud to be a part of a company where we have advanced technology which allows our armed forces to do what they need to do…At the end of the day, we have a mission, and our products help their overall capabilities to achieve that mission.”
For more information about Woodward, Inc., visit www.woodward.com.