February 26, 2018

UTC Windsor Locks plant to be site for Rockwell Collins division

Collins Aerospace Systems' Power and Controls division will be located at UTC Aerospace Systems' Windsor Locks plant after United Technologies Corp.'s buyout of the Iowa-based Rockwell Collins is completed this year, Rockwell officials said.

The majority of that business would be legacy UTC Aerospace Systems and is already in Windsor Locks, a company spokesman said. The company's electric environmental and engine systems business is headquartered in Windsor Locks.

In a memorandum to employees, Rockwell officials said that executive headquarters for the combined UTAS-Rockwell operation — to be called Collins Aerospace Systems — will be in Palm Beach County in Florida.

The combined companies will maintain "significant footprints" in Charlotte, North Carolina, where UTAS currently has its executive headquarters, and in Rockwell's hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the company said.

A "small executive leadership office" will be located at an existing UTC site in Palm Beach County, Florida, the company said.

UTAS corporate parent United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, has a major presence in Palm Beach County, where subsidiary Pratt & Whitney operates an aircraft engine plant. Pratt is based in East Hartford and has a factory in Middletown.

Also, UTC Climate, Controls & Security, which includes Carrier Corp., is based in nearby Jupiter, Florida.

UTC additionally maintains a customer showcase in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Dubbed the UTC Center for Intelligent Buildings, the facility is designed to provide potential customers with a "world-class experience" through exhibits of products from Otis Elevator, Carrier Corp., and Chubb and Kidde, which make smoke alarms and other building security equipment.

In its memo to employees, Rockwell said the preliminary configuration of the post-merger business is designed around six "strategic business units," based at existing UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins sites "that combine complementary capabilities, solutions, and expertise."

In addition to the Windsor Locks operation, the new Collins Aerospace System divisions will be based in California, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Charlotte, North Carolina, at the current UTAS headquarters. Rockwell's current corporate headquarters in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will continue to house the company's avionics and mission systems divisions, the company said.

"A goal in designing this new organization is to limit disruption, and employee relocations are expected to be minimal," the company said.

Officials also suggested in the memo that more changes may be in the company's future. The structure outlined Thursday "will serve as the foundation for additional integration planning and will continue to evolve," the company said.

Until the transaction closes, which UTC CEO Gregory Hayes has said should occur in the third quarter of this year, UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins will continue to operate as two separate businesses, the company said.

UTC last August announced plans to buy Rockwell and combine it with its UTC Aerospace Systems subsidiary. Rockwell makes flight controls, aircraft interiors, and related products, while UTAS makes jet engine controls, aircraft landing gear, brakes, and similar equipment.

The deal is UTC's first major acquisition since its $18 billion buyout of the Goodrich Corp. in 2013. That resulted in creation of UTC Aerospace Systems, into which Hamilton Sundstrand, in Windsor Locks, was combined.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was edited to reflect that UTAS has not said employees will be moved from Rockwell Collin's Iowa headquarters to Windsor Locks.

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