GKN Aerospace, along with Greg Clark, the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has revealed plans for a new Global Technology Centre in Bristol, UK. The new centre – funded by a £17 million commitment from GKN Aerospace and a £15 million commitment from the UK Government through the Aerospace Technology Institute – is expected to open in 2020.
The 10,000 m2 facility will host three-hundred engineers, and will include collaborative space for research and development with universities, the UK’s CATAPULT network and GKN Aerospace’s UK supply chain. The centre will focus on Additive Manufacturing, advanced composites, assembly and the implementation of industry 4.0 processes to enable high-rate production of aircraft structures. The facility will serve as a base for GKN Aerospace’s technology partnership in the Airbus’ ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ technology programme as well as new AM programmes.
The Bristol centre joins a growing list of GKN Aerospace Centres of Technical Excellence around the world. Each centre has a unique technology focus – with some covering AM, thermoplastics or smart aero-engine systems – and is supported and linked by a clear digital strategy. Hans Büthker, Chief Executive of GKN Aerospace, commented, “GKN Aerospace can trace its engineering heritage back to the 18th century, and we are proud of our role as a leading player in the UK’s world-leading aerospace sector.”
“The GTC will ensure we continue to develop new technologies that deliver for our customers, making aircraft more sustainable and economical. It will also support our 4,000 strong workforce in the UK, ensuring they remain at the cutting edge of the global aerospace industry. The GTC is a great example of the UK’s industrial strategy at its best: with industry and the government coming together to invest in the technology of the future.”
Clark added, “GKN Aerospace’s new Global Technology Centre further strengthens our aerospace heritage and engineering expertise, and will keep the UK at the forefront of the latest technologies and manufacturing processes for the next-generation of aircraft. As the sector moves towards a cleaner, greener and more efficient future, we are partnering with industry through our modern Industrial Strategy and new Aerospace Sector Deal to ensure we have the skills, innovation and supply-chain to continue our world leadership in aviation.”
In addition to GKN Aerospace and the Aerospace Technology Institute, collaboration partners at the new GTC include: the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), Additive Industries B.V., ANSYS UK Limited, ATS Applied Tech Systems Limited, Centre for Modelling & Simulation, Digital Catapult, KUKA Industries UK Limited, Manufacturing Technology Centre, Materialise UK Limited, National Composites Centre, PXL Realm, Thales UK Limited, University of Bath, University of Bristol and University of Sheffield.