GKN Aerospace joined tier one industry partners Vestas, Airbus and Rolls Royce in celebrating the Government's announcement of a new National Composites Centre (NCC) to be based in the south west of England.
Marcus Bryson, Chief Executive Officer, GKN Aerospace stated: "We were a founding member of the UK's National Composites Network, launched in 2005 and are fully committed to the Government's National Composites Strategy. This new Centre in the South West will be a key facility in enabling UK manufacturing as a whole to develop new composite material applications and to extend our expertise in an area that is a critical UK manufacturing skill for the future."
The new NCC is close to two of GKN Aerospace's key UK facilities - at Filton in Bristol and Cowes on the Isle of Wight. GKN Aerospace is the leading independent supplier of composite structures to the global aerospace sector, supporting UK-based companies such as Airbus and Boeing as well as a wide range of international customers. The Company has been a key force in driving forward the use of composites in aviation and is now instrumental in developing new and innovative manufacturing techniques that are extending the performance and environmental benefits of composites further across the airframe and into the aero-engine.
Many of the new techniques developed recently are already being implemented in the new automated production facility now being created at the Company's Filton West site in Bristol - and due to be operational in 2010. Filton, acquired from Airbus in January this year, is to be developed as GKN Aerospace's global centre of excellence in aero-structures offering state of the art composite manufacture and assembly with faster turn around times and greater consistency and quality than has been achievable to date.
Marcus Bryson continued: "The new NCC will be of critical support as we push ahead with our research and development work, helping us and our team of suppliers extend the UK's involvement in the growing global aerospace market over the next 30 to 40 years."
Created by the South West RDA, Bristol University and the industrial partners, the NCC will be a purpose-built 6,000m2 facility with workshop space, open-plan offices, meeting rooms and teaching facilities. Expected to be fully operational by 1st April 2011, it will be an independent open-access national centre delivering world-class innovation in the design and rapid manufacture of composites and enabling widespread industrial exploitation.
GKN plc is a global engineering business serving mainly the automotive, industrial, off-highway and aerospace markets. It has operations in more than 30 countries, nearly 40,000 employees in subsidiaries and joint ventures and sales of GBP4.4 billion in the year to 31 December 2008. GKN plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: GKN). GKN Aerospace is the aerospace operation of GKN plc, serving a global customer base. Operating in North and South America, Australia, the Asia Pacific and Europe, GKN Aerospace offers 24 hour 'follow the sun' engineering. With sales of GBP1bn, the business is focused around three major product areas - aerostructures, propulsion systems and transparencies, plus a number of specialist product areas - electro-thermal ice protection, fuel and flotation systems, and bullet resistant glass. The business is equally split along military and civil lines with significant participation on all major aircraft programmes today. GKN Aerospace is a major supplier of complex composite structures; offers one of the most comprehensive capabilities in high performance metallics processing and is the world leading supplier of cockpit transparencies and passenger cabin windows.
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