UK Government invests nearly £90 million in aerospace manufacturing
18 March 2021
The UK Government is funding five innovative aerospace projects through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme with the aim of improving manufacturing within the industry. Global engineering technologies company, Renishaw, is leading Large Scale Additive Manufacturing for Defence and Aerospace (LAMDA), a project that aims to develop a metal additive manufacturing (AM) machine that manufacturers can use to build larger aerospace components and mass produce smaller parts. Manufacturing of the machine will take place at the company's Miskin site in South Wales.
The grant winners, chosen by The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Innovate UK and the Aerospace Technology Institute, will all receive a portion of the £88.7 million, with £44.1 million coming from Government and £44.6 million coming from industry. The funding has the potential to secure 1,400 jobs across the UK and will invest in state-of-the-art technology that will be crucial in helping industry build back better and greener from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The LAMDA project will receive a £26.4 million investment over four years, including a £13.2 million government grant. Renishaw and project partners will use the funding to develop an AM machine that manufacturers can use to build larger aerospace components as well as mass produce smaller parts. This equipment will enable aerospace manufacturers to deliver higher production rates and to reduce costs. Manufacturers will also be able to exploit superior material properties and innovative design to produce smaller, lighter components that will contribute towards net zero aviation. If successful, the project could create or secure up to 240 jobs in design and manufacturing across Gloucestershire, Wales, Blackburn, Bristol, Coventry and Poole.
“This is an exciting project which, if successful, will help realise the huge potential of additive manufacturing for the aerospace sector in terms of the efficiency and reduced environmental impact of future aircraft,” explained Andy Robinson, Director of Additive Manufacturing at Renishaw. “By making AM viable for both the quality and economics of large-scale manufacture, a far greater proportion of aircraft components and systems will benefit from the weight-savings, size reductions and performance enhancements that AM offers manufacturers.”
“This multi-million-pound cash injection will safeguard vital jobs and support the aerospace sector as it builds back stronger after the pandemic,” explained Paul Scully, the UK Government's Minister for Business. “Manufacturing is at the very heart of UK industry, and innovative processes will ensure that the UK is at the forefront of global efforts as we develop technology that can power a green aviation revolution.”
The aerospace industry has a crucial role to play in achieving the government's net zero commitment, so a range of additional initiatives are in place to support the industry. This includes: £125 million worth of government grants, matched by industry, through the Future Flight Challenge, for companies to invest in future aviation systems; the establishment of the Jet Zero Council to find innovative ways to cut aviation emissions; and funding for FlyZero - a research project that brings together experts from industry and academia to determine the future viability of zero-carbon emission commercial aircraft.
Renishaw's experience in the aerospace sector spans almost 50 years, beginning when Sir David McMurtry, now the company's Executive Chairman, invented the touch-trigger probe to solve a measurement challenge for Concorde's Olympus engines. The company helps manufacturers undertake repeatable, traceable, efficient work to the finest tolerances throughout the supply chain, so that every component, not just safety critical ones, meet its design intent.
For further information about Renishaw's products and services for aerospace manufacturers, visit www.renishaw.com/en/aerospace.
For further images, videos, company biographies or information on Renishaw and its products, visit our Media Hub.