The Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) has made a major investment in UK aerospace and its supply chain. New facilities funded by the ATI at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) Casting Centre, in Rotherham, will be used to develop and promote new technologies to UK foundries and tool manufacturers, which could help them to win big contracts with major aerospace companies. This investment in the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, will benefit the entire UK, as the AMRC Castings Centre is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult whose mission is to revitalise UK manufacturing. The Catapult provides a gateway to some of the best manufacturing talent and facilities in the country. The project will develop advanced world-class wing tooling and fast-make aerostructures and engine parts that will help UK aerospace manufacturers to grow production rapidly. The project proposes solutions that will enable the full benefits of 3D printing and sand and investment casting to be achieved, enabling aerospace components to be produced at lower cost, with shorter lead times, at higher quality, and with less environmental impact than current processes, strengthening the competitiveness of the UK aerospace sector. The project aims to deliver component weight savings of 23%, cost savings of 38%, and an 89% reduction in lead-times compared to conventional processes. The project will help the ATI to achieve its goal of ensuring that the UK remains Europe’s number one aerospace manufacturer, second only to the US globally. The project will help protect and grow the number of jobs in UK aerospace and its supply chain.
The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) is requesting funding from the Aerospace Technology Institute to purchase new state-of-the-art equipment for the AMRC Composite Centre. This equipment will be used by the AMRC and industrial partners to strengthen the UK’s competitive edge in world markets in composites and aerospace. Composite materials are increasingly being used in aerospace to make aircraft lighter and more environmentally-friendly and there are huge opportunities to adopt composites in many other industries in order to reap economic and environmental benefits. The research undertaken with this equipment is expected to bring down the cost of complex composite components, making it easier for aerospace and other industries to adopt this lightweight solution, and helping UK manufacturers to secure a larger share of the lucrative and rapidlyexpanding aerospace and composite markets.