GKN Aerospace Opens New Center of Excellence to Focus on Industry 4.0 Technologies

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Today, GKN Aerospace announced that it is opening a new Global Technology Center in the United Kingdom. The center is being funded by a £17m commitment from GKN Aerospace and a £15m commitment from the UK Government, through the Aerospace Technology Institute. It is expected to open in 2020 and will be 10,000 square meters, housing 300 engineers. The center will also include collaborative space for research and development with universities, the UK’s CATAPULT network and GKN Aerospace’s UK supply chain.

“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 Hans Büthker, Chief Executive of GKN Aerospace. “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. The GTC will continue to foster such collaboration across the entire UK Aerospace ecosystem and we look forward to working with the British Government in the years to come.”

The new center will focus on additive manufacturing, advanced composites, assembly and Industry 4.0 processes in order to enable the high rate production of aircraft structures. It will also serve as the base for GKN Aerospace’s technology partnership in Airbus’ “Wing of Tomorrow” technology program, as well as new additive manufacturing programs.

GKN Aerospace has several Centers of Technical Excellence around the world. Each one has its own specific technology focus, such as additive manufacturing, thermoplastics and smart aero-engine systems. The centers are all supported and linked by a clear digital strategy.

“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,” said Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. “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.”

Along with GKN Aerospace and the Aerospace Technology Institute, collaboration partners at the new Global Technology Center 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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