GKN Aerospace has announced that it has become a tier-one member of the UK's Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) as part of its strategy to strengthen and share its research into automated assembly technologies.
MTC was established as a part of the UK Government's national manufacturing strategy; it is aimed at supporting production processes and technologies in collaboration with industry, academia and other institutions.
MTC provides a space for the development and demonstration of new technologies on an industrial scale in a low-risk environment.
The founding industrial members of the MTC include aerospace manufacturer Rolls-Royce, Aero Engine Controls, Airbus UK, with research including the University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, Loughborough University and TWI.
GKN Aerospace stated that the combined focus would increase the scope and pace of progress in manufacturing and assembly research.
GKN Aerospace Technology director Rich Oldfield said that the MTC would function as a focal point for UK industry as the manufacturers explore new automation techniques and technologies.
"For the UK's aerospace sector, globally the strongest national aerospace capability after the USA, the MTC will provide support as we work together to extend our share of a growing and dynamic international civil aerospace market," Oldfield said.
"To achieve our goals we must be able consistently to deliver aircraft structures that are lighter, quieter, swifter to manufacture and less wasteful of raw material than our competitors internationally."
GKN Aerospace is already involved in multiple core MTC projects related to robotics, advanced tooling, near net shape technologies and advanced metrology.
The company is a manufacturer of metal and composite airframe and aero-engine structures.
Image: GKN Aerospace manufactures the composite winglets which will be used on the new Bombardier CSeries. Photo: courtesy of GKN Aerospace.