Nissan, Rolls-Royce, GlaxoSmithKline, Meggitt, BAE Systems, Airbus and AT Engines Controls have partnered with GKN Aerospace to trial digital technologies and smart devices.

    GKN Aerospace is leading the Smart Connected Shop Floor project as part of the UK’s Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge. The £9.9M programme is jointly funded by the UK Government and the industry and aims to support businesses to implement new technology, boosting their manufacturing productivity.

    The cross-sectoral team of experts trial advanced digital technologies in the manufacturing environment, with the project focusing on technology exploitation of artificial intelligence, machine learning, intelligent robotics, augmented reality, smart devices and data analytics.

    This will aim 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.

    GKN Aerospace says 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.

    The project will see 25 highly specialised engineers and operators working together on the programme.

    GKN Aerospace’s chief technology officer and head of strategy, Russ Dunn commented: “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.”

    GKN Aerospace develops, builds and supplies an extensive range of advanced aerospace systems, components and technologies for use in aircraft ranging from helicopters and business jets to the most used single aisle aircraft and the largest passenger planes in the world.