Wednesday, April 18, 2018

News: Bodycote signs £160m Rolls-Royce contract

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Bodycote, the world's largest provider of heat treatment and specialist thermal processing services, has signed a 15-year contract with Rolls-Royce as it joins the world-renowned engineer on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham.

Bodycote improves the properties of metals and alloys, extending the life of vital components through heat treatment services and specialist thermal processes, Hot Isostatic Pressing and surface technology.

The contract with Rolls-Royce's Civil Aerospace business is expected to be worth over £160 million in incremental revenues over the 15-year period. Sales will ramp up over the next five years.

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Bodycote will provide thermal processing services which include specialised vacuum heat treatment and hot isostatic pressing (HIP), supporting Rolls-Royce's turbine blade casting facilities in Derby and Rotherham.

The most advanced turbine blade casting facility in the world was officially opened on the AMP in Rotherham in 2014. The 150,000 sq ft facility employs around 150 people and has the capacity to manufacture more than 100,000 single crystal turbine blades a year.

The advanced turbine blade castings made in Rotherham rotate at 12,500 rpm, with their tips reaching 1,200mph – nearly twice the speed of sound. At take off each of the engine's high pressure turbine blades generates around 800 horsepower per blade - similar to a Formula One racing car.

Rothbiz reported in February that Bodycote was preparing to take the 11,000 sq ft Unit 7B at the R-evolution development on the AMP.

Rolls-Royce signed its first key supplier agreement with Bodycote in the early 1980s. In the late 1990s, Bodycote became the first subcontractor to establish operations within the boundaries of any Rolls-Royce facility. It invested a reported £6m at a Rolls-Royce site in Derby.

The latest agreement ensures the provision of specialist thermal processing capacity utilising Bodycote's high performance, quality-focused approach to support the growth of Rolls-Royce's large civil engine programmes; these include the Trent XWB, Trent 1000, Trent 7000, Trent 700 and Trent 900.

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Bodycote has a network of over 180 facilities. For the year ending 2017 it reported that profits had risen 27% to £117m with revenue of £690m. It added that civil aviation growth was 5.6% and continued to be driven by strong revenue growth in the UK.

In 2017 Bodycote acquired the HIP assets from Doncasters Group Limited's UK business and a new mega-HIP was ordered for Europe which will come on line in 2018. The firm added that: "Further new facilities are expected to be commissioned in 2018 for both Specialist Technologies and Classical Heat Treatment in our focus geographies and markets. The additional capacity that will come on stream in 2018 will add to our ability to deliver strong growth and superior return on sales over the coming years."

Bodycote website

Images: Bodycote

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