UK-based GKN Aerospace has opened a new engineering and technology center at its site at Filton, near Bristol, as part of an ongoing program to add to its global engineering capability. The center, GKN’s fourth, will focus on future wing structure design and manufacture.
“Bristol is now established as the heart of our global wing structures manufacturing activity,” said technical director Rich Oldfield. “With the National Composites Center close by and strong links into local academic research programs, this is the ideal base for developing our engineering capability.”
With more than 50 permanent staff in place at the Filton center already, eventually more than 100 engineers are expected to be based at the site, providing integrated design and build capability, said the company.
The Filton center will integrate with the company’s other established engineering centers on the Isle of Wight in the UK, and in St. Louis, Missouri; Garden Grove and Santa Ana, California, in the U.S., as a single global engineering force to support more than 25 GKN Aerospace manufacturing centers worldwide. Each site will concentrate on a defined area of expertise in product design and analysis and advance new manufacturing technologies and techniques, while drawing on the experience of the whole force.
GKN Aerospace is a silver sponsor of the Farnborough International show’s Futures Day on Friday and also for the Innovation Zone. On Futures Day, two young GKN engineers, Laura Cundy and Karen Murphy, will talk to an audience of young people from around the country about “Making Things Fly.”
“Futures Day is an important opportunity for us to reach out to young people already interested in aviation but who may not have considered engineering as a career. As a country, we have a real shortage of engineers with the vital skills our manufacturing industrial base will need for the future prosperity of the country,” said Oldfield.
GKN Aerospace operates in three main product areas: aerostructures, engine components/subsystems and special products. It recorded sales of £1.5 billion ($2.3 billion) in 2011.