The Manufacturing Working Group is focussed on enabling the UK aerospace supply chain to grow and extend its global leadership in manufacturing, creating the industrial strength for sustained competitiveness; a process of strategic manufacturing enhancement.
To meet the world’s needs and ensure commercial success, the next generation of UK aerospace products must be tangibly better and differentiated from competitor offerings. They need to do more (or do the same better) at lower cost with higher safety and minimised environmental impact. Manufacturing is a core enabler to delivering products with these attributes. New manufacturing technologies and manufacturing processes will unlock design innovation, advance product capability, enhance the way products are used and supported (reducing the environmental footprint in manufacture, operation and disposal) whilst satisfying customer demand for rapid delivery.
To enable a competitive future in UK aerospace manufacturing, the Manufacturing Working Group will focus on four key areas to deliver its goal of strategic manufacturing enhancement:
- Grow capacity to deliver and the uptake of best practice Manufacturing Technologies for improved productivity and capacity
To maximise the exploitation of best practice manufacturing technology the Manufacturing Working Group will build upon the foundations of the Manufacturing Accelerator Programme (MAP) and the MTC change handbook, to engage SMEs in innovation, enabling increased productivity, capacity and capability through the application of best current and future looking technologies. The MWG will do this by raising the awareness in SMEs of the potential benefits that ‘value accelerator’ tools and techniques can deliver and making guided implementation accessible.
- Promote and support the skills development of manufacturing companies
The Manufacturing Working Group will support the delivery of the SC21 Competitiveness and Growth programme, ensuring manufacturing ‘knowhow’ is at the core of the improvement programme. The programme will equip suppliers with the tools and experience required to compete on the global market.The Manufacturing Working Group will also support the National College for Advanced Manufacturing which is planning to grow the supply of higher level skills available to support UK Aerospace companies, essential to producing innovative products, increased productivity and remaining globally competitive.
- Drive Increased collaboration between aerospace manufacturers
In recognition of the common challenges facing aerospace manufacturers, the Manufacturing Working Group will look to encourage companies of all sizes to collaborate on the development of new manufacturing technology and processes whilst sharing the learning from prior manufacturing capability development activities where possible.As one of the routes to promoting collaboration the Manufacturing Working Group will engage with the i-Aero project. The iAero partnership has developed a regionally focussed collaborative approach in the South West that is seeking to bring together aerospace companies with common challenges to collaborate on advanced technology, skills development, supply chain productivity and competiveness. The desire would be to extend this initiative in other regions (as is already starting to happen) and create linkages where possible.Cross-sector engagement, contribution to national strategy development (e.g. Additive Manufacturing and Digital / Intelligent Manufacturing) and linking into the Productivity Leadership Group activities will be other routes explored for collective advancement.
- Build UK supply chain capability to support SCA challenges
The Aerospace Growth Partnership worked with its members to produce a cross-sector Strategic Competency Analysis (SCA) to assess UK priority work packages. 6 SCA papers were produced informing the AGP Working Groups, Aerospace Supply Chain and ATI.The Manufacturing Working Group will draw out the key manufacturing elements and ensure they are promoted and sustained within the ATI project portfolio. As well as these product technology driven developments the group will also look to identify and respond to the need for developments in manufacturing processes.