GKN Unveils £50m Plan for World's Greenest Aircraft
GKN Aerospace is reinforcing its commitment to eco-friendly manufacturing with a £50 million investment in cutting-edge additive fabrication technology in Trollhättan, Sweden.
The Swedish Energy Agency’s Industriklivet initiative will contribute £12 million to this investment, aiming to transform production methods by minimising raw material usage by up to 80%.
This innovative technology, operational in GKN Aerospace's Trollhättan facility later in 2024, moves away from traditional aircraft engine components, reducing waste and environmental impact.
Presently, engine parts rely on extensive castings and forgings, discarding up to 80% of materials during machining. Adopting additive technology, where layers are constructed using metal wire or powder fused with lasers, GKN Aerospace aims to significantly decrease raw material waste, energy consumption, and shipping within production. This approach not only reduces emissions but also cuts costs and lead times.
GKN Aerospace, a pioneer in additive fabrication for nearly two decades, operates prominent research and technology centres in Sweden, the UK, and the US. Thanks to support from Industriklivet, the new additive production centre in Sweden is expected to generate approximately 150 job opportunities at the Trollhättan facility.
Joakim Andersson, president of GKN Aerospace’s Engines business, said: “We are committed to driving sustainability in the aviation industry and pioneering improved solutions for our customers. Our development of additive fabrication for large, complex and load-bearing aircraft components is a great example of this, and it marks a significant breakthrough for the industry.
"The benefits we see from this technology are truly game-changing. Government support has been pivotal in enabling us to push our capabilities forward, and I am delighted to establish this unique technology in our world-leading facility in Trollhättan Sweden."
Peter Engdahl, Head of Research, Innovation, and Business Development at the Swedish Energy Agency, said that GKN Aerospace's solution could reduce raw material usage, fundamentally change design, and enhance the efficiency of aircraft engines. The technology, being tested for the first time on this scale, holds global potential and could extend to various applications.
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Source: GKN Aerospace