GKN Aerospace is investing US$ 63 million (600 million SEK) in additive manufacturing technology in Trollhättan, Sweden.
The company hopes to reduce material wastage by up to 80% by switching production of many aero-engine components to additive manufacturing, with the new equipment expected to be operational later this year at GKN Aerospace’s Trollhättan facility.
The Swedish Government is to fund US$15 million (152 million SEK) of the investment.
Additive technology involves layer-by-layer construction using metal wire or powder fused together with lasers instead of using large castings and forgings, where material is machined away before reaching the final product.
GKN has significant research and technology centres in Sweden, the UK and the US for additive manufacturing and the new additive production centre in Sweden is expected to create around 150 new jobs for operators, technicians, and engineers .
Joakim Andersson, president of GKN Aerospace’s engines business said, “We are committed to driving sustainability in the aviation industry and pioneering improved solutions for our customers.
“Our development of additive fabrication for large, complex and load-bearing aircraft components is a great example of this and it marks a significant breakthrough for the industry. The benefits we see from this technology are truly game-changing.
“Government support has been pivotal in enabling us to push our capabilities forward and I am delighted to establish this unique technology in our world-leading facility in Trollhättan Sweden.”
Peter Engdahl, Head of Research, Innovation and Business Development at the Swedish Energy Agency said: “GKN Aerospace’s solution will be able to contribute to a reduced use of raw materials and create opportunities to fundamentally change the design, making the aircraft engine lighter and more efficient. This is the first time this technology is being tested for this component size and we see the potential for it to spread globally and also in other areas.”