Daily Manufacturing News Digest – the industry stories you should be aware of today

Posted on 24 Oct 2023 by The Manufacturer

Each day The Manufacturer compiles the top manufacturing news stories from around the web. To make your life a little easier, we trawl through all the major trade publications, broadsheets and business magazines to find you the most important manufacturing news each morning. Don't forget to bookmark this page and check back daily.

AMRC exploring wire arc additive manufacturing for aerospace

Additive manufacturing experts from the University of Sheffield AMRC North West are exploring an innovative technique to produce hydrogen storage tanks for aerospace applications.

Dr Evren Yasa, Head of Additive Manufacturing (AM) for the AMRC, led a team of researchers on a project using Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) – a production process used to 3D print metal parts that uses an electric arc to melt a metal wire, depositing layers of melted metal on top of each other, until a desired 3D shape is created.

WAAM is used in many industrial sectors, including energy, defence, automotive, construction and aerospace, to produce large and complex structural components – reducing the need for assembly and joining technologies, as well as waste material. Moreover, WAAM has been deployed for repair and remanufacturing purposes in aerospace, saving time and costs. In addition, it has the advantage of greater supply chain flexibility, enabling on-demand production in small quantities. Find out more at The Manufacturer

bp selects Johnson Matthey’s LCH technology for its first low carbon hydrogen project

Johnson Matthey (JM), a global leader in sustainable technologies, and bp have signed a licensing and engineering agreement for Johnson Matthey’s LCH technology at bp’s proposed flagship low carbon (blue) hydrogen facility in Teesside, H2Teesside.

Industry in the Tees Valley accounts for 64% of total local CO2 emissions, compared to 24% nationally. H2Teesside would help power and decarbonise local industry here, as well as new businesses attracted to this low carbon hydrogen produced at scale.

Due to its proximity to domestically sourced North Sea natural gas, established pipe corridors, and planned carbon capture transportation and storage infrastructure that is being developed by the bp-led Northern Endurance Partnership, the area is uniquely placed for H2Teesside to help lead a low carbon transformation, supporting jobs, regeneration, and the revitalisation of the surrounding area. Find out more at Johnson Matthey

Bombardier Defense Delivers Global 6000 Aircraft to the US Air Force

Bombardier recently celebrated the seventh delivery of a Global 6000 aircraft to the US Air Force (USAF) Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) programme at the company’s Hartford Service Centre, in Connecticut.

The BACN aircraft is a specialised communications platform, known in the USAF as the E-11A, that is part of a previously announced multi-year contract representing a potential total value of close to US$465m.

Bombardier has already delivered six Global aircraft to the BACN programme under previous agreements. The USAF has the option to purchase an additional aircraft each year through 2026 under the 2021 contract. Find out more at Bombardier

Rolls-Royce release Spectre for UK/Europe media drive

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has invited European media to experience Spectre, the manufacturer’s first fully electric car.

Boris Weletzky, Regional Director, UK, Europe and Central Asia, said: “The launch of Spectre is a significant moment in the marque’s near 120-year storied history. Spectre is the first all-electric Rolls-Royce and represents the beginning of an exciting, bold and new era for the brand. Two years ago, the marque made a historic announcement that in 2023 Rolls-Royce would launch its first all-electric motor car and that by the end 2030, the entire portfolio would be fully electric.

“Since this time, Spectre has been on a remarkable journey, completing a rigorous testing programme, spanning 2.5 million kilometres, and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from media and clients. It is now a great pleasure to see this motor car on the roads in our home market and I am delighted to offer the European media the opportunity to experience this transformative motor car in the United Kingdom.” Find out more at Rolls-Royce

Toyota and Team GB launch docuseries, The Journey

Team GB and Toyota have joined forces to launch a new four-part docuseries, The Journey, bringing fans inside the lives of four athletes on their journey to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Toyota is the Worldwide Official Mobility Partner of the International Olympic Committee and the series reflects the company’s mission to support athletes to achieve their goals, going beyond the finishing line and beyond their impossible.

The series features cyclist Dame Laura Kenny, the most successful female Olympian in British history; double Commonwealth gold medal-winning diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix; reigning Commonwealth and former World Champion gymnast Giarnni Regini-Moran; and Roxanne Milliner, aka B-Girl Roxy, who is aiming to become the first Team GB female ‘breaker*’ when the sport makes its Olympic debut at Paris 2024. Find out more at Toyota

Low carbon steelmaking transition board established

A Transition Board has been established to support the people, businesses and communities affected by the proposed transition to low-CO₂ steelmaking. Tata Steel announced proposals in September to invest £1.25bn, including a UK government grant worth up to £500m, to enable greener steel production at Port Talbot.

The Tata Steel/Port Talbot Transition Board met for the first time on Thursday, October 19 at the company’s Port Talbot site where it agreed the ways of working, its terms of reference and membership of the board.

The company and the UK government’s Department for Business and Trade will separately oversee the investment in low-CO2 steelmaking at Port Talbot. The Transition Board will have access to up to £100m to invest in skills and regeneration programmes for the local area. Find out more at Tata Steel

Manufacturers have sustainability strategies in place but progress remains slow and patchy

Two-thirds of board-level executives at UK-based manufacturing companies agree that sustainability is a high priority and a third have decarbonisation plans in place, but according to new research conducted by management consultancy, Vendigital, progress in decarbonising products, processes, and supply chains is patchy at best, and this could cause UK industry to fall behind global competitors in the race to net zero.

The survey of with 201 C-Suite Executives in the UK’s manufacturing sector found that 63% of respondents said that sustainability is a high priority for the business and 31% confirmed that they have a carbon reduction plan in place. The majority (70%) have gone as far as setting ‘net zero by 2030’ targets, but about two thirds (61%) aren’t sure that their sustainability goals will be achieved. Even though most manufacturers have mature sustainability strategies in place, the research suggests that their plans for delivery may be underdeveloped and under progressed. Find out more at Insight

Demonstrating the value of additive manufacturing

Babcock’s Material Availability Services (MAS) team recently led the way in demonstrating the value of additive manufacturing to a pan-defence cohort, displaying a wide range of 3D printed parts produced to support the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Land Rover Wolf fleet.

The team has been working as part of the MOD’s Project Tampa, the working group for the MOD’s first industry and defence accelerator programme, focused on the use of additive manufacturing to increase material availability across defence. ​

The aim of the project is to explore the benefits of using additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, and the issues that prevent it from being used in the defence industry. The objective is to accelerate the use of additive parts, and in doing so, open the door to greater innovation in manufacturing. Find out more at Babcock International

Aircraft rental costs soar as industry struggles with manufacturing delays

The cost of renting the newest aircraft has surpassed pre-pandemic levels as airlines struggle to balance demand for travel with persistent shortages and manufacturing delays.

More than half of the world’s commercial aircraft are owned by leasing companies, which have been able to increase their rates significantly for the most in-demand Airbus and Boeing single-aisle aircraft that are used for short and medium-haul flights.

Monthly lease rates for the Airbus A321neo have risen from lows of around $340,000 at the height of the pandemic in 2020 to as much as $420,000, marginally higher than before COVID-19 brought the industry to a standstill, according to aviation data group Ishka. Find out more at The Financial Times

Encirc announces management change

Encirc Managing Director Adrian Curry has revealed that he will step down from his role after 19 years at the helm of one of the UK’s largest glass manufacturers and bottle fillers.

Current Finance Director, Sean Murphy, will assume the role of Managing Director, on an interim basis, until a successor is appointed. Sean has been with the company for 19 years having worked previously with Coca Cola.

Adrian commented: “I have decided to resign from my position as Managing Director of Encirc. After 27 years with the business and 19 years as MD I have been so privileged to have worked with such truly genuine, honest, and talented people. Find out more at The Manufacturer