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World class research centre to accelerate UK engineering
Mettis Aerospace today launches its membership of a world class research centre alongside
partners Boeing, Rolls-Royce, the University of Strathclyde and the Scottish Executive.
Mettis Aerospace today launches its involvement in a world class research centre to create state of the art manufacturing technologies for the UK’s aerospace, energy, marine and automobile industries. Mettis Aerospace is pleased to announce its tier one membership of the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) alongside industrial partners Boeing and Rolls-Royce together with the University of Strathclyde and the Scottish Executive.
The £25 million Advanced Forming Research Centre will develop forming and forging technologies to support the design and manufacture of new products, including components and structures for airframes, aero engines, landing gear, power generation, cars, ships, medical devices and wind turbines. The centre aims to bridge the gap between academic research and industrial manufacturing processes with the objective of building on the global competitiveness of the UK engineering sector and pioneering new products more quickly, easily and cost effectively for partner organisations.
Mettis Aerospace is committed to strategic investment in research and development activities which will help to position the organisation alongside its customers both now and in the future. As part of this strategy the Advanced Forming Research Centre has provided the opportunity to influence the academic research agenda from an industrial manufacturing perspective with the ultimate goal of delivering technically advanced forging and forming solutions to customer requirements. Archie MacPherson, CEO at Mettis Aerospace comments, “ The Advanced Forming Research Centre presented Mettis Aerospace with an opportunity to get involved to help shape the research and development agenda within the aerospace forming and forging sector. Through collaboration with all partners the Centre will bring new processes, technologies and applications to market faster. This will support our global competitiveness and will optimise solutions for our customers.”
The centre will be managed by the University of Strathclyde and will carry out a programme of core research
in collaboration with its members, together with further research commissioned by companies around the globe. Commenting on the Centre Professor Jim McDonald, Principal of the University of Strathclyde said: “The Advanced Forming Research Centre will set new standards in design for the manufacturing industries, and help the centre’s members compete on the world stage. Our work will be informed by a global network of researchers to ensure we are continually at the forefront of new technology and research will be driven by the needs of our industrial partners.” Work will include developing blue-sky products to lay the foundations of future forming and forging technology, as well as trouble shooting established industrial processes. It is estimated that the worldwide market for the rapidly developing forging industry will grow to $55.7 billion
The Centre’s bespoke building, which is being funded by Scottish Enterprise including funding from the Scottish Government, will open in early 2010 and will house top of the range equipment including hot and
cold presses and metrology, metallurgy and material testing equipment.
Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed the new centre and said: “Scotland has a strong record of innovation in engineering and science through the work of pioneers such as James Watt. The £25 million Advance Forming Research Centre will help strengthen this reputation with the establishment of a world-class research facility which will work with the world’s leading international engineering and technology companies.
“This new centre highlights Scotland’s commitment to being at the forefront of developing new technologies.”
Jack Perry, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Scotland has a long and distinguished history in developing breakthroughs in engineering and manufacturing technologies. The Centre will enhance Scotland's global reputation for excellence by providing a world-class facility carrying out leading edge research and developing new technologies that have the potential for commercial success and will have
a significant impact on the Scottish economy.
"Scottish Enterprise will continue to work closely with the University of Strathclyde and all our industry partners to help create a facility of international significance that will promote Scotland as a location for leading edge engineering research and development."
Ricky Martin, Fabrication Technology Leader at Boeing Research & Technology, Boeing’s advanced, central research and development organisation said: “Our participation in the Advanced Forming Research Centre at the University of Strathclyde provides us with opportunities to help develop advanced forming and forging technologies that yield higher quality, lower-cost components for current and future aerospace systems."
Hamid Mughal, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing Engineering at Rolls-Royce - the first industrial partner of the venture - said: "The Advanced Forming Research Centre offers a unique collaborative opportunity to develop and implement world leading manufacturing processes and technologies.
"The formation of this Research Centre helps us to further strengthen our relationship with the University of Strathclyde and to establish a mutually beneficial partnership of leading companies, technology providers
and academic staff, dedicated to the development of best-in-class technology solutions."
For more information about the Advanced Forming Research Centre, visit: www.strath.ac.uk/afrc
1. About the Advanced Forming Research Centre:
– The Advanced Forming Research Centre is a public-private sector partnership designed to drive improvements in performance and profitability of UK industry. The Centre is part of, and managed by, the University of Strathclyde, building on its 25 years of experience in the field. The Centre will be a beacon for engineering and manufacturing excellence, housed in a high-quality, purpose-built facility designed to reflect the status of its internationally significant research.
– Initial funding for the Advanced Forming Research Centre is £20 million, with Scottish Enterprise, members and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council funding a further £5 million over five years. This does not include income from research contracts.
2. About Mettis Aerospace:
– Mettis Aerospace is a leading provider of safety critical components to the aerospace and defence industry, based upon world leading forging, machining and metallurgical skills. Mettis Aerospace offers customers a range of design, logistics, forging, machining, processing and kitting services from a single integrated site and holds approvals from some of the industry's leading names including Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce and GE Aviation.
3. About Boeing:
– Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners
and military aircraft combined.
– Through its Boeing Research & Technology organization, the company conducts its own research and development and also works with top government, private and university research centres, and companies throughout the world to find the most innovative and affordable technology solutions for aerospace applications.
4. About Scottish Enterprise
– Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main enterprise, innovation and investment agency and is focused on supporting business growth and developing a competitive business environment. Working in partnership with industry, academia and the public sector, SE aims to play its part in delivering the Scottish Government’s new economic strategy to increase productivity in Scotland by helping businesses grow, encouraging greater innovation and creating the right conditions for companies to access property, markets and finance. Further information on Scottish Enterprise is available at www.Scottish-enterprise.com
5. About Rolls-Royce
– Rolls Royce joined the Advanced Forming Research Centre as the initial industrial member of the venture. The Centre is part of a developing network of manufacturing research centres which includes the Rolls-Royce Factory of the Future at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).
– Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position in global markets - civil aerospace, defence aerospace, marine and energy.
– The Group has a broad customer base comprising more than 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,000 marine customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries. It employs around 39,000 people worldwide in offices, manufacturing and service facilities in 50 countries and has businesses headquartered in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia and China. This global presence allows the Group to access long-term international growth opportunities with its technology, presence, partnerships and people.
– In 2008, in collaboration with its partners, Rolls-Royce invested over £800 million on research and development, two thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products.