The new center - funded by a £17 million ($21.5 million USD) commitment from GKN Aerospace and a £15m ($19m USD) commitment from the UK Government, through the Aerospace Technology Institute - is expected to open in 2020. Once open the 10,000 square metre facillity will host 300 highly skilled 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 center will focus on additive manufacturing (AM), advanced composites, assembly and industry 4.0 processes to enable the high rate production of aircraft structures. The GTC will maintain GKN Aerospace’s position at the forefront of technology development for the next generation of energy efficient aircraft. The facility will serve as a base for GKN Aerospace’s technology partnership in the Airbus’ "Wing of Tomorrow” technology program as well as new additive manufacturing programmes.
The Bristol center joins a growing list of GKN Aerospace Centres of Technical Excellence around the world. Each centre has a unique technology focus - covering AM, thermoplastics and smart aero-engine systems - and is supported and linked by a clear digital strategy.
“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," said Büthker. “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."
“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," noted Clark. “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 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.
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