Aerospace News, May 2018

The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and global aviation supplier GKN Aerospace have entered into a long-term partnership to work together on developing advanced technologies for the aerospace industry. The AMRC works closely with global leaders in the aerospace industry to develop innovative technology, manufacturing methods and techniques.

The AMRC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GKN Aerospace to progress a series of research themes they are developing together at the AMRC’s state-of-the-art Factory 050, the dedicated collaborative research Factory home to the Integrated Manufacturing Group.

GKN Aerospace is a strategic supplier to Airbus, Boeing and other leading aircraft manufacturers, and plays a critical role in the UK aerospace industry.

As a global leader in manufacturing aero structures, engine systems and specialist aerospace Technologies, GKN works closely with universities, knowledge institutes, suppliers and customers to lead the industry in developing new technology to improve aircraft efficiency – lowering aircraft cost, weight and emissions. It serves more than 90% of the world’s aircraft and engine manufacturers and its technologies are used in aircraft ranging from single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world to business jets and advanced fighter aircraft.


The AGP, a strategic partnership between government and industry to support innovation and growth has helped aerospace productivity rise by 19% since 2010, compared to 3% in the UK economy as a whole.

Senior leaders of the aerospace industry lathered with government representatives and OMEs from across the UK aerospace sector at the “Supply Chain of the Future” event to discuss opportunities and challenges in the sector.

The event aimed to help supply chain companies work more effectively with the lector’s largest manufacturers, develop new technology and ensure continued improvements in efficiency and productivity.


Eleven of the Midlands’ aerospace cluster, the fastest-growing SMEs visited Rzeszow, Poland, for a trade mission organised by the Midlands Aerospace Alliance. The aerospace firms undertook a series of visits to local factories, potential partners and held meetings with buyers and distributors.

The UK companies travelled to Poland with a view to exporting or establishing in Poland and capitalising on the UK’s strong trading relationship with the country.

The trade mission was run in partnership with Bank Zachodni WBK (part of Santander group), Aviation Valley Association (Poland’s largest aerospace cluster association) and Altios International (the global advisory firm).

The companies that attended the trip were Coaching for Change, ATA Group, Pattonair Poland, CG Tech, Enventive Engineering, Ronaldsway Aircraft Company, Therser (UK), VBC Group, Wallwork Heat Treatment, MetLase and Poeton Industries.

Reportedly, the initiative is aimed at helping businesses enter new overseas markets and capitalise on trade and investment opportunities.

Poland was chosen as the destination for the aerospace trade mission due to its growing aerospace industry and over 100-year history in the sector. Rzeszow has the largest aerospace cluster within Poland and the Polish aerospace industry has over 200 companies producing in excess of €1.3bn in annual revenues.


Rolls-Royce is joining forces with the respected German science organisation, the Hasso plattner Institute, to further develop its digital capabilities. The British manufacturer signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the institute, committing both parties to pioneering search into Artificial Intelligence (Al). Design thinking, E-Learning and Data Security.

Reportedly, both partners will be exploring how these fields can be applied to aerospace research and development, production and services. The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) in Potsdam is Germany’s university excellence centre for digital engineering. With its bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in ‘IT Systems Engineering’, the Faculty of Digital Engineering, established jointly by HPI and the University of Potsdam, offers an especially practical and engineering-oriented study program in computer science that is unique throughout Germany.


Rolls-Royce collaborates with The Alan Turing Institute to undertake collaborative research in innovation in data Science and analytics. The Memorandum of Understanding aims to develop next generation Artificial Intelligence, specifically for use in industrial applications. The two organisations will work together to co- design and deliver a programme of collaborative research in data science and Al.

As reported, jointly-run research projects will explore how data science can be applied at scale; the application of Al across supply chains; data-centric engineering and predictive maintenance; and the role of data analytics and Al in science.

Along with research and innovation, the two organisations will work together to raise awareness importance of data science and Al in building a strong UK economy for the future.

A new ’social network for engines’ is to help Rolls-Royce to improve the engines’ availability for the company’s business jet business aviation, keeping engines ready to fly is crucial, because improving the engines’ availability means lower costs and more reliability, according to Juan Carlos Cabrejas. Technical Product Manager for R2 Data Labs.

One of the ways to improve availability is by Making better use of the data the company collects on the engines, from how they are flown, to how they’re maintained. According to Cabrejas, this is a fundamental part of the Intelligent Engine vision, in which the engines will be increasingly connected contextually aware and comprehending, helping to deliver greater reliability and efficiency.

The company looked at popular websites that resent data in accessible ways. With Facebook or LinkedIn, Cabrejas could see what friends or colleagues have been up to, often going back years. Cabrejas underlined, that sites like Amazon and Netflix use powerful algorithms to suggest products or films, based on the preferences of others with a similar profile to you. Rolls-Royce applied the same ideas to engines.

Engine Network is a new app that presents all of the important information on the engines in a fleet in a single place. Each engine has a ‘profile’, which shows data on how it’s been operated, the aircraft it has been paired with, the parts it contains, and how much service life is left in each component. The complete story of the engine’s operational history is told in a timeline, just like on certain social media sites. And there’s also newsfeed within the app that displays the most important insights from across the fleet. Cabrejas said that the most exciting thing about the Engine Network capability is the recommendation algorithm we’ve built into it.

Rolls-Royce can use the network to improve the way it manages the fleets. And the service teams can use the app to make more informed decisions on maintenance and take action early to ensure maximum availability.

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