Government funds new aerospace research

Posted on 7 Apr 2015 by The Manufacturer

Sigma Precision Components has gained government funding to help finance and develop composite drive shafts for aerospace use.

The Hinkley based company has received £1.6 million in total to fund their latest project, which is supported by MOOG Aircraft Group from Wolverhampton and the University of Manchester.

The money breaks down as a loan of £300,000 and a grant of £700,000 from the Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI). The initiative has funded 20 supply chain projects with £67 million whilst also encouraging a further £109 million worth of investment from industry investment.

The money will go towards designing and developing a new composite drive shaft to replace the metallic ones that are currently being used in aerospace design. If successful the project could make considerable weight loss advancements and increase the efficacy of the component.

Director of technology and improvement at Sigma, Mike Andreae, said, “We’re delighted that AMSCI is supporting this programme, which offers real potential to reduce weight and improve the performance of this key component.

Composite aerospace design is becoming increasingly common
Composite aerospace design is becoming increasingly common

“The programme follows on naturally from our successful CleanSky-funded COMPipe project, which developed new manufacturing techniques to manufacture composite aero-engine pipes that offer significant weight savings when compared to their traditional, metallic counterparts.

“We’re now looking to apply some of that technology to this new drive shaft project.”

Speaking about manufacturing in the country, Business Secretary Vince Cable commented: “While there is much to celebrate about British manufacturing, it is clear that our supplier base has been eroded over the last thirty years.

“Reversing this will boost exports, and help safeguard UK jobs. Our targeted interventions have helped revive the great British manufacturing sector.

“The benefits of stronger manufacturing supply chains will be felt across the whole economy – new cutting-edge technologies, a more highly skilled work force and improved productivity will boost growth and jobs across the country.”

AMSCI provides funding for research and development, training and the ‘reshoring’ of manufacturing jobs back to the UK. The initiative also aims to build bridges within manufacturing and the supply chain with the opportunity for collaboration.

“Manufacturing is seeing a resurgence across the UK,” according to business minister Matthew Hancock as he spoke about supply chain improvements.

Composite construction and research has increased dramatically recently
Composite construction and research has increased dramatically recently

“From the world leading 3D printing in Coventry to the next generation of aerospace components in Gloucestershire, Britain is standing tall in the world once again.

“Strong supply chains are at the root of this success and these new funds will keep Britain competitive.”