The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS), Renfrew, Scotland, UK, and Boeing, have opened a new research and development (R&D) facility in Westway Park located in Renfrew within the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland.
The new NMIS facility measures over 5500 m2 and incorporates the Metallics Research Centre with Boeing, which will see the delivery of Boeing’s £11.8 million R&D programme in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the NMIS Group of industry-led manufacturing research and development facilities.
Aiming to reduce material waste and identify opportunities to improve safety, productivity, and the environmental impact of its aircraft, technical teams from Boeing and NMIS are exploring novel manufacturing technologies for metallic components, including metal Additive Manufacturing, building on over a decade’s worth of R&D with the University of Strathclyde and the AFRC, where Boeing is a founding partner.
Part funded by Scottish Enterprise, the programme is the first initiative within the Boeing Scotland Alliance, which is exploring opportunities to work together in Scotland, with the aim of doubling Boeing’s supply chain and creating 200 new quality jobs in the next five years.
The new R&D facility will also house cutting-edge manufacturing equipment for use across NMIS projects with other innovative manufacturing businesses across the country, bolstering the support already provided through its specialist technology centres the AFRC and its Lightweight Manufacturing Centre (LMC).
In the adjacent manufacturing district site, construction is continuing on the new NMIS headquarters set to open later next year, which will include a skills academy, collaboration hub and digital factory.
“This a huge development for Scotland, cementing our dedication to advanced manufacturing innovation on a global scale and the benefits that this can bring to our economy,” stated Keith Ridgway, NMIS Executive Chair. “We’re excited about what the future holds for this new facility, the ground-breaking R&D taking place there, and how we can build on our manufacturing expertise to support Boeing on its journey towards net-zero.”
Sir Martin Donnelly, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing in the UK and Ireland, commented, “This opening is significant because it’s a sign of the commitment Boeing and Scottish Enterprise made when we announced the Boeing Scotland Alliance and this R&D programme.”
“The NMIS and Boeing teams have worked tremendously hard through a global pandemic to bring us to this point, and we all know that so much more is still to come from this agreement for the future of manufacturing and aerospace,” he added.