The centre will focus on (AM), advanced composites, assembly and industry 4.0 processes to enable the high rate production of aircraft structures. The GTC will maintain GKN Aerospace’s position at the forefront of technology development for the next generation of energy efficient aircraft. The facility will serve as a base for GKN Aerospace’s technology partnership in the Airbus’ “Wing of Tomorrow” technology programme, as well as new additive manufacturing programmes.
Expected to open in 2020, the 10,000 m2 facility will host 300 engineers and will include space for collaborative research and development with universities, the UK’s Catapult network and GKN Aerospace’s UK supply chain.
Commenting, Hans Büthker, chief executive of GKN Aerospace, said: “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.
“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 Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, added: “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.
“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.”
This Bristol centre joins a growing list of GKN Aerospace Centres of Technical Excellence around the world. Each centre has a unique technology focus - covering AM, thermoplastics and smart aero-engine systems - and is supported and linked by a clear digital strategy.