GKN Aerospace is to open its Global Technology Centre (GTC) focusing on additive manufacturing, advanced composites, assembly and industry 4.0 processes in Bristol, UK in 2020.
The £32m, 10,000 square metre facility will house 300 engineers and serve as a base for GKN Aerospace’s technology partnership in the Airbus ‘Wing of Tomorrow’ programme and additive manufacturing programmes. It will also include collaborative space for R&D with universities, the UK’s Catapult network, and GKN Aerospace’s UK supply chain.
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark announced the news today, and believes it will keep the UK at the forefront of 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,” Clark 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,” added Hans Büthker, GKN Aerospace CEO. “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.”
GKN will collaborate with a wealth of manufacturing technology companies and research institutes, including the AMRC, Additive Industries, Ansys UK, Kuka Industries UK, the MTC, Materialise, the University of Bristol and the University of Sheffield, among others. Additive Industries, the only additive manufacturing hardware vendor to collaborate, will join GKN Aerospace in its additive-focused programmes, hoping to accelerate the industrialisation of 3D printed aerospace applications and strengthen its place in a key market.
“The GTC is a perfect example of the UK’s commitment to additive manufacturing and this further strengthens Additive Industries in such an important region,” offered Dr. Mark Beard, Additive Industries Global Director for Process and Application Development. “The GTC compliments the Additive Industries Competence Centre in the UK, which is the global centre for early stage processes development for the company.”