Renishaw, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucester, UK, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BAE Systems which will see the two companies partner on the development of Additive Manufacturing’s capabilities for the defence and aerospace sector. The collaboration is designed to help improve performance, reduce costs and speed up manufacturing processes on the combat aircraft of the future.
The MoU was reportedly signed by Andy Schofield, Manufacturing & Materials Strategy & Technology Director for BAE Systems, and Will Lee, Chief Executive, Renishaw, during a visit to BAE’s manufacturing facilities in Samlesbury, Lancashire, UK. The agreement also opens up opportunities for joint research and development.
BAE’s Samlesbury site is already home to several Renishaw AM machines, which form part of a dedicated New Product Development & Process Development Centre (NPPDC), where the latest emerging technologies and processes such as AM and Virtual Reality are explored and tested for application into aircraft design and manufacture. With a particular focus on AM, investments into technologies like those provided by Renishaw are expected to help BAE Systems remain at the cutting edge of aerospace manufacturing, exploiting the latest technologies and processes to continually improve its advanced manufacturing capabilities.
BAE began researching Additive Manufacturing techniques more than two decades ago, and is currently using the technology to make production standard components for the Typhoon fighter aircraft. AM is also being applied in the rapid prototyping of new technology concepts as part of a drive to deliver the Tempest – a capable, affordable and exportable next generation future combat air system.
“Additive Manufacturing has and will continue to deliver significant benefits to our sector,” stated Schofield. “Renishaw is a world leader in Additive Manufacturing and we have been impressed with the quality of parts produced on its machines. This agreement allows us to create a more open and collaborative environment to share ideas and knowledge. In an environment of fast developing technology and challenged budgets, collaboration and innovation are absolutely essential in order to retain cutting edge capability. I’m really excited by the potential this partnership has to help us deliver that. ”
“We have a great relationship already with BAE Systems, developed over many years through the application of our metrology products and have more recently worked with them on evaluating and understanding the performance envelope of our AM systems,” added Lee. “We are delighted that they have been impressed with our systems, and this, together with our vision for AM development, has led to the strengthening of our collaboration. We look forward to the exciting opportunities that this strategic collaboration presents to further develop AM technologies for demanding aerospace production applications.”