Thursday, December 19, 2013

News: Airbus joins AMRC as Tier One member

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The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing has strengthened its partnership between industry and academia by signing up leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, as a Tier One member.

Based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham and a partner in the HVM Catapult (the government's strategic initiative that aims to revitalise the manufacturing industry), the AMRC focuses on advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors.

Airbus is an aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace company. Based in France, the company produces approximately half of the world's jet airliners. It produces the first commercially viable fly-by-wire (electronic) airliner, the Airbus A320, the world's largest passenger airliner, the A380, and the A350 XWB which it claims will be more fuel-efficient and have operating costs up to 8% lower than the competing Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

With sites in Filton and Broughton, around 100,000 jobs are generated in the UK by Airbus wing work, both directly as well as indirectly through an extended supply chain of over 400 companies.

Working together with governments, industries, research institutes and universities around the world, Airbus is researching the technologies and innovations needed to deliver a significant improvement in efficiency and performance and will benefit and contribute to the growth of the industry on a global scale.

By taking Tier One membership at the AMRC, Airbus gains access to all the resources and generic research at the state of the art facility, and also takes a seat on the board to help determine the direction of future research. Tier One membership costs £200,000 per year and other Tier One members at The AMRC include Boieng, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce.

The AMRC played a major role in the Integrated Wing Project, a previous R&D project lead by Airbus. In an effort to improve efficiency, the project team focused on identifying new materials and manufacturing processes to produce actuators and braces for aircraft landing gear that would be lighter than those currently made with high tensile strength steel.

Teams at the AMRC's Advanced Structural Testing Centre and Composite centres investigated the feasibility of using an advanced carbon composite actuator rod overclad with steel, laser deposited stainless steel, titanium silicon carbide metal matrix composites, in addition to testing associated with high tensile steel.

Airbus is also one of a number of leading companies supporting AMRC Factory 2050, the £43m state-of-the-art research factory that will be the UK's first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility for collaborative research.

Professor Ridgway, founder of the world-leading University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the world's highest distinction for aerospace achievement, awarded only for the most outstanding contributions to the aerospace profession.

AMRC website
Airbus website

Images: Airbus

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