Wednesday, June 21, 2017

News: SCR at Paris Air Show

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The world's premier and largest event dedicated to the aviation and space industry, The Paris Air Show is taking place this week and representatives from the Sheffield city region are there.

Bringing together all the players in this global industry around the latest technological innovations, the first four days of the show focus on trade and industry, where major companies often announce massive deals and unveil new aircraft.

World-renowned engineering firm, Rolls-Royce, for example, announced a major order from Ethiopian Airlines to provide Trent XWB engines for ten new Airbus A350-900 aircraft worth $1.5 billion (around £1.19 billion).

Key parts of the engines are manufactured at the £110m Rotherham facility which manufactures turbine blades for a wide-range of Trent aero engines. The most advanced turbine blade casting facility in the world was officially opened on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham in 2015.

The Trent XWB is the world's most efficient large aero engine and has been selected by more than 40 customers to date. With over 1,600 engines ordered, it is also the fastest selling wide body jet engine ever.

Two types of turbine blades are manufactured at the Rotherham facility: high pressure (HP) and intermediate pressure (IP) single crystal blades. The blades are "grown" in a special process which ensures that they are created from a single metal crystal to maximise their strength. These SX blades generate the power of a Formula 1 racing car.

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Liberty Speciality Steels is also attending the Paris Air Show - the first since the Liberty House Group acquired the South Yorkshire based speciality steels business from Tata Steel. With an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) at Aldwarke in Rotherham, the businesss produces steel that is used in landing gear and aircraft engines including the landing gear of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Ashley Wilkinson, commercial director at Liberty Specilaity Steel, told trade magazine, Aerospace Manufacturing: "We have been producing aerospace grade steels in the Sheffield area for over sixty years, and today around half of our business is export. We supply aerospace speciality steels across the globe which is why attending the Paris Air Show is so key.

"With the introduction of a VIM furnace at the Speciality Steels site [at Stocksbridge] near Sheffield we are now able to deliver the highest purity stainless steel and alloys. This includes many grades that are used in the aerospace industry with its highly-demanding specification and quality requirements.

"A key change in approach to the supply chain was signalled by the investment in our AMC [The Advanced Machining Centre in Rotherham]. This allows us to support our customers supply chains by producing sophisticated finished components for aerospace applications. This has over £2m invested in advanced 5-axis machining for turning, milling and grinding finished aerospace components – enabling the machining of stainless steel, nickel alloys and titanium alloys."
US giant, Boeing used the event to officially launch the 737 Max 10 plane and announced that it had more than 240 orders and commitments, worth in the region of $30 billion. Boeing recently submitted a planning application for a new £20m production facility alongside the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

Rachel Clark, director of trade and investment for the Sheffield city region, said: "This region has an enviable track record in attracting investors. We're celebrating our best ever year for investment by foreign-owned companies, with partnership between all our nine local authorities bringing a massive £1.9 billion into the region, and more than 7,000 jobs created or safeguarded.

"Going to the air show – and our involvement with others such as the Innotrans rail exhibition and the flagship Huston Offshore Technologies conference – is fundamental to competing successfully on the world stage as we do.

"We aren't just competing with other UK regions, we're happy to be up against the likes of New York and Tokyo."

Rolls-Royce website
Liberty Speciality Steels website
SCR Invest website

Images: Rolls-Royce / Boeing


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