EADS, the pan-European aerospace and defence organisation based in Filton, UK, has announced that it will collaborate with GKN Aerospace to examine industrialising additive layer manufacturing (ALM) technology.
The ALM project will be undertaken in a new £2 million shared facility at Filton and is expected to create up to 30 new engineering jobs and develop a new supply chain of companies in the region. The collaboration will be supported by a £1.96m investment provided through a UK Government Regional Growth Fund grant for the use of ALM in aerospace applications and also for making parts and accessories for cars.
Ian Risk, Head of EADS Innovation Works UK commented, “This collaboration takes a significant step towards bringing this unique technology into industrial reality. As a more efficient, sustainable process, ALM has the potential to revolutionise industrial manufacturing and secure the UK’s position at the forefront of high tech innovation. EADS and GKN Aerospace are leaders in cutting-edge engineering and technology and we are proud to bring our skills and expertise together to benefit the future of British manufacturing.”
EADS has already used ALM to produce metal hinges for engine covers which allow the covers to swing open for engine maintenance. The new, lighter weight hinge shown in Fig. 1 has been put through the tests used for conventional parts and shown to meet performance requirements.