GKN Aerospace is leading the Smart Connected Shop Floor project as part of the UK’s Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge. UK government and industry are jointly investing $12.8 million to support businesses to implement new technology to boost their manufacturing productivity.
The project will focus on technology exploitation of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, intelligent robotics, augmented reality (AR), smart devices, and data analytics. The aim is 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. 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.
GKN Aerospace, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, GlaxoSmithKline, Meggitt, BAE Systems, Airbus and AT Engines Controls Ltd. will bring together their expertise across sectors. Twenty-five specialized engineers and operators will work together on the program, of which a number will be based out of GKN Aerospace’s Global Technology Centre in Bristol, UK.
GKN Aerospace Chief Technology Officer and Head of Strategy Russ Dunn explains, “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.”