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GKN Aerospace leads smart manufacturing project to increase productivity

GKN Aerospace is to lead a smart connected shop floor project as part of the UK’s Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge. The £9.9m programme is jointly funded by UK government and industry and aims to help businesses implement new technology and boost their manufacturing productivity.

The company is heading up a cross-sectoral team of experts trialling advanced digital technologies in the manufacturing environment. The project will focus on technology exploitation of artificial intelligence, machine learning, intelligent robotics, augmented reality, smart devices and data analytics.

This will aim to exploit the productivity opportunities of the digital space, empowering end users, creating an eco-system of digital technologies and aiding real-time cost effective manufacturing decisions across the various supply chains.

GKN Aerospace is to lead a £9.9m smart manufacturing project that will trial digital technologies and smart devices to enhance productivity / Picture: GKN Aerospace


GKN Aerospace, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, GlaxoSmithKline, Meggitt, BAE Systems, Airbus and AT Engines Controls will bring together their expertise across sectors. 25 specialised engineers and operators will work together on the programme, of which a number will be based out of GKN Aerospace’s Global Technology Centre in Bristol.

The project will also have a strong focus on developing new skills and capability in this important field and will enable improvements in environmental sustainability, which can be scaled globally.

Russ Dunn, chief technology officer and head of strategy at GKN Aerospace, said: “Smart manufacturing can lead to a step change in competitiveness for the UK aerospace industry as well as having significant benefits in reducing our environmental footprint. The Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge is potentially ground-breaking and we are delighted that the government is supporting this project to help the UK stay at the forefront of exciting and emerging manufacturing technologies.”

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