The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland has signed a lease for a facility that will be primarily used for the Group’s £11.8 million research and development program on advanced manufacturing with the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing. The new NMIS Boeing program development comes a year after the official opening of the Lightweight Manufacturing Centre at Westway Park, the second specialist technology center within the NMIS Group.
The facility’s space measures over sixty thousand square feet and will be refurbished to accommodate the personnel and equipment needed for the Boeing program. It will also house other state-of-the-art advanced engineering equipment to be used in projects with other manufacturing businesses including a purpose-built area dedicated to advancing the use of additive manufacturing in Scotland.
“This facility is a significant step not only in the development of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland but also in bolstering the future of manufacturing across the country post lockdown,” said John Reid, the new CEO of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. “We are delighted to be bringing Boeing to Scotland at this time to work on such a critical project with our team and play a crucial role in developing the aerospace supply chain across the country for generations to come.”
The NMIS Boeing program will demonstrate innovative manufacturing processes and technologies related to metallic components, building upon research previously conducted at the AFRC. Through these technologies and building capability in others, the team will be investigating reducing material wastage, possibilities to improve safety, productivity and environmental impact.
The Boeing program, run by the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre (AFRC), part of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the only High-Value Manufacturing Catapult center in Scotland, will see the company establish an R&D team at the Westway facility working with AFRC’s leading forming and forging technologists. Boeing has hired a team to work on the program and it is expected that the personnel will be on site later this year.
“We announced our broader Boeing Scotland Alliance with Scottish Enterprise in March at the AFRC because this R&D program was a cornerstone of that agreement,” added Sir Martin Donnelly, President of Boeing Europe and Managing Director of Boeing in the UK and Ireland. “Seeing such progress with the signing of this lease amid the challenges of 2020 is a testament to the teams involved and a precursor of what we know we will achieve through the talent and resources found in the Glasgow City Region and throughout Scotland.”
Other goals include demonstrating innovative manufacturing processes and technologies related to metallic components, building upon research previously conducted at the AFRC. Through these technologies and building capability in others, the team will be investigating reducing material wastage, possibilities to improve safety, productivity and environmental impact. This comes as the result of the University of Strathclyde and the AFRC building a successful relationship with Boeing over a number of decades, with the aerospace giant being one of the founding members of the specialist technology center.
It is part-funded by Scottish Enterprise with a contribution of £3.5 million to Boeing. This is one of the initial actions to come from the Boeing Scotland Alliance, which was set up between the two organizations to explore opportunities to work together in Scotland, with the aim of doubling Boeing’s supply chain in the country. This could be worth tens of millions of pounds to the Scottish economy and could see 200 new quality jobs created over the next five years.