Hans Büthker, Chief Executive of GKN Aerospace, together with Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has shared some details of GKN Aerospace’s intention to set up a new Global Technology Centre in Bristol, UK.
This centre will focus on additive manufacturing (AM), advanced composites, assembly and industry 4.0 processes to enable the 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 additive manufacturing programmes as GKN looks to the technology development for the next generation of energy efficient aircraft.
GKN Aerospace has committed £17m, with a further £15m coming from the UK government through the Aerospace Technology Institute, to fund this 10,000 square metre centre, which is expected to open in 2020. The facility will host 300 highly skilled engineers, and will include collaborative space for research and development with universities, the UK’s CATAPULT network and various other companies chosen mostly from GKN Aerospace’s UK supply chain. This includes Additive Industries, which will work with GKN Aerospace from the co-located Process & Application Development Centre.
GKN Aerospace already operates several 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.
Büthker 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.’’