Friday, June 16, 2017

News: £20m Boeing plans land

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A planning application has been submitted on behalf of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) for a £20m production facility in the emerging Sheffield-Rotherham Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID).

It shows that the high profile development is set to be based on the Sheffield Business Park (SBP), ironically for a factory making advanced parts for airplanes, at the end of where the runway once was at Sheffield's former airport.

Announced in February, the new facility, to be named Boeing Sheffield, will enable Boeing to bring the manufacture of key high-tech actuation components and systems used in the Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft in-house, enhancing production efficiency and reducing costs.

Trailing edge actuation systems are responsible for extending and retracting the wing's flaps during different phases of flight. The flaps add lift to enable take-off and landing at lower speeds and provide drag to help slow the aircraft.

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Drawn up by DLP and D5 Architects, the plans show that the building will include some 66,000 sq ft of floor space with a machine hall, inspection area and offices. It will be located close to the roundabout on Europa Link in a dominant position at the end of the central boulevard and adjacent to the Gateway to the "AMRC2" site.

The plans state: "The proposed development is for a research and development facility at AMRC that is essentially linked into the research and delivery of advanced manufacturing with relationships with the AMRC and the AMP (Advanced Manufacturing Park). It will primarily be involved in the manufacturing of lightweight and strengthened aeronautical components for use in commercial aircraft. It will also include ancillary office and staff amenity space."

With its aerospace business based in Seattle, Boeing was a co-founder of The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing. In 2014 the institution signed a deal to secure 50 acres of land at Sheffield Business Park (SBP), paving the way for the expansion of the AMRC and building on its success on the AMP, where it already operates from 300,000 sq ft of accommodation within seven separate buildings.

The impressive Factory 2050 was the first AMRC building to open and the new campus is expected to attract more leading manufacturing companies to locate the the AMID - McLaren being the latest high profile name to be announced, following Rolls-Royce on to the AMP in Rotherham. Rolls-Royce supplies Trent engines for Boeing.

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Boeing Sheffield, the result of a Boeing investment of more than £20m and the company's first manufacturing facility in Europe, will employ approximately 30 people when it opens as part of BCA's Fabrication operations and will work closely with Boeing Portland.

Boeing also plans to initiate a major Research & Development programme with the AMRC to develop new manufacturing techniques that can be applied in the new facility.

The production unit at Boeing Sheffield will create approximately 10,000 pieces per month. One line will manufacture housings from aluminium castings and the other will manufacture gears from steel bar.

Set to be no higher than 14 metres, the jagged roof has been designed to provide the machine hall with as much natural daylight as possible and also provide space for photo voltaic panels.

Construction of the facility is expected to commence later in 2017 with production coming on stream in late 2018.

The Sheffield City Region Combined Authority agreed a £5.75m grant from the Business Investment Fund to support the facility. As Boeing increases its spend in the UK, 104 supply-chain jobs are expected to be created as a result of the move.

Boeing UK website

Images: Boeing / D5


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