27 July 2018

MTC to lead major aerospace programme

The Manufacturing Technology Centre near Coventry is to lead a £15 million programme aimed at encouraging suppliers to the UK aerospace industry to adopt additive manufacturing.

The DRAMA (Digital Reconfigurable Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace) project is intended to encourage the UK aerospace industry's supply chain to adopt additive manufacturing technologies, which are increasingly being demanded by the country's prime aerospace manufacturers. Suppliers will be able to test products and processes in a virtual additive manufacturing facility at the MTC, and then transfer the work to the latest physical machines. During the project a full trial facility will open at NCAM, with proving facilities also available at Renishaw in Staffordshire.

Dr Katy Milne, who leads the DRAMA project at the MTC said the programme was focused on additive manufacturing using metal powders. She added "The importance of additive manufacturing to the UK aerospace industry can't be overstated. It has the potential to revolutionise design approaches and component manufacturing. There are more than 4,000 companies involved in the aerospace industry in the UK and additive manufacturing offers the biggest opportunity since the introduction of composites."

The funding for the project is being delivered by Innovate UK and supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute. Other partners delivering DRAMA are Renishaw, the Midlands Aerospace Alliance, which is mobilising other UK aerospace groupings, ATS Applied Tech Systems, Autodesk, Granta Design, the National Physical Laboratory and the University of Birmingham.

The DRAMA project was formally launched at and event at the Manufacturing Technology Centre, at which senior executives from major aerospace manufacturers were joined by smaller aerospace supply companies.

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