Rolls-Royce joins universities and industrial partners in UK Manufacturing Technology Centre

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, welcomes today’s announcement by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills confirming £40 million capital investment in the UK Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC).

Rolls-Royce is an inaugural industrial partner in the MTC, which was recognised in the Government’s manufacturing strategy, unveiled a year ago. It will develop innovative advanced manufacturing techniques to improve the UK's manufacturing competitiveness.

Support for the MTC has been led jointly by the East Midlands and West Midlands Development Agencies (emda and AWM).

The Centre will be located at Ansty Park, near Coventry. It will be owned and operated by a collaboration of research partners formed by the University of Nottingham, University of Birmingham, Loughborough University and TWI (The Welding Institute).

Dr Hamid Mughal, Rolls-Royce's Executive Vice President, Manufacturing Engineering, said: “Today’s announcement marks a key milestone for the UK’s manufacturing sector. High value-added manufacturing will increasingly play an important role in securing the UK's future competitiveness and prosperity.

“The MTC has been designed to enable Rolls-Royce, and other industrial partners to develop, evaluate and implement innovative manufacturing technologies to improvements in manufacturing performance.

“Our leading involvement in the MTC is a critical component of our strategy to develop a global network of advanced manufacturing research centres, and we are looking forward to working alongside our partners in the open, collaborative and innovative environment that the MTC will provide.”

Work on the MTC facility is due to start in early 2010. When completed in 2011, it will focus on assembly, automation and joining technologies. In 2010, the MTC partners will start building a portfolio of work to transition into the new facility once it opens.

Other members of the MTC include Airbus UK, Aero Engine Controls and Jaguar Land Rover. Membership is expected to grow rapidly and span a number of industrial high value sectors.

In addition to the MTC, Rolls-Royce has been involved in the development of a network of manufacturing research centres which span a broad range of manufacturing technologies.

The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield opened in 2004 and the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC) will open next year in Glasgow. The company has also recently announced that it will play a leading role in the development and operation of the UK’s Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC).

The manufacturing research centre model uses public and private funding to bring academia and industry together, to pursue challenging, industrially relevant development projects. Industrial participation spans multiple sectors and involves the whole supply chain, including significant SME business involvement.

  1. Rolls-Royce is a global business providing and supplying integrated power systems for use on land, at sea and in the air. The company has established strong positions in four global markets - civil aerospace, defense aerospace, marine and energy.
  2. The Rolls-Royce Group has a broad customer base including more than 600 airlines, 4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160 armed forces, more than 2,000 main customers, including 70 navies, and energy customers in nearly 120 countries. With facilities in 50 countries, Rolls-Royce employs 39,000 people worldwide and has businesses headquartered in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia, Singapore and China. This global presence allows the Group to access long-term international growth opportunities.
  3. Rolls-Royce has been closely involved in developing the network of UK manufacturing research centres. These centres provide an infrastructure to support public and privately funded manufacturing technology research. Rolls-Royce joined the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield, which opened in 2004, with founder member Boeing. In early 2009 it opened the £10 million Rolls-Royce Factory of the Future, a four-fold expansion of the AMRC, on the same Sheffield site. In 2007, Rolls-Royce agreed with Scottish Enterprise and Strathclyde University to launch the Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), which will open in 2010, and on 15 July 2009 announced its leading role in the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (NAMRC). The Group has also been involved in launching centres in the USA (Virginia) and Singapore.
  4. Research and development is carried out in facilities in the UK, Canada, Germany, Singapore, the US and Scandinavia and the Group has particularly strong relationships with the 27 Rolls-Royce University Technology Centres worldwide.
  5. Rolls-Royce continues to invest in core technologies, products, people and capabilities with the objective of broadening and strengthening the product portfolio, improving efficiency and enhancing the environmental performance of its products.
  6. In 2008, Rolls-Royce and its partners invested £885 million on research and development, two-thirds of which had the objective of further improving the environmental aspects of its products, in particular the reduction of emissions.
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