AMS Spring 2023

Boeing to Open New 3D Printing R&D Facility in Scotland with NMIS

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Cash just continues to be infused into 3D printing, particularly in aerospace, with the introduction of new facilities continuing around the world. Now, the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland (NMIS) in Renfrew is opening an £11.8 million research and development program with Boeing.

A lease has been signed with property investment firm Canmoor for a unit at Westway Park in Renfrew, part of the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland. The space, over sixty thousand square feet, will be refurbished to accommodate the personnel and equipment needed for the Boeing program. It will also house other state-of-the-art advanced engineering equipment to be used in projects with other manufacturing businesses including a purpose-built area dedicated to advancing the use of additive manufacturing in Scotland.

Operated by the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the only High Value Manufacturing Catapult center in Scotland), the Boeing program is an extension of previous work performed at AFRC related to manufacturing with metallic parts.

The University of Strathclyde and the AFRC have worked with Boeing for decades already; in fact, the aerospace corporation was one of the original founding members of the technology center. The Boeing Scotland Alliance was created to facilitate such collaborations in Scotland, furthering Boeing’s ultimate goal to double its supply chain there, increasing the Scottish economy substantially, and allowing for around 200 new jobs in the next five years.

“This facility is a significant step not only in the development of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, but also in bolstering the future of manufacturing across the country post lockdown,” said John Reid, the new CEO of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. “We are delighted to be bringing Boeing to Scotland at this time to work on such a critical project with our team and play a crucial role in developing the aerospace supply chain across the country for generations to come.”

Now, the Boeing team will examine:

  • How to increase productivity
  • Methods for reducing material waste
  • Ways to improve safety
  • Reducing environmental impact

“We announced our broader Boeing Scotland Alliance with Scottish Enterprise in March at the AFRC because this R&D program was a cornerstone of that agreement,” said Sir Martin Donnelly, president of Boeing Europe and Managing Director of Boeing in the UK and Ireland.

“Seeing such progress with the signing of this lease amid the challenges of 2020 is a testament to the teams involved and a precursor of what we know we will achieve through the talent and resources found in the Glasgow City Region and throughout Scotland.”

Boeing continues to make their presence known within the 3D printing industry, marking the maiden flight of the Boeing 777X bearing 300 3D printed parts early this year, creating the first 3D printed metal satellite antenna, working with other companies to establish real standards for the 3D printing of functional titanium aerospace components, and much more as the aerospace industry continues to embrace the technology and a wide range of materials.

[Source / Images: Production Engineering Solutions]

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