Made In members are demonstrating their skills and capabilities by participating in one of the aerospace sector’s most prestigious events - the Farnborough Airshow.
While the headline-grabbing airliners and tactical defence aircraft are the stars of the show, the opportunity for suppliers to showcase themselves to global buyers is an opportunity too important to overlook.
Reflecting the increasingly technological nature of the industry, many have chosen to participate in the Aerospace 4.0 and Innovation show features, which highlight the way digital transformation and new thinking is revolutionising the industry.
Coventry University, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult (MVMC) and Tri-Tech 3D are just three of the members featured.
In keeping with the processes identified by the Made in the Midlands Industry 4.0 Advisory Board, the project will be touching on issues such as cloud computing, the internet of things, location detection technologies, augmented reality, big data analytics, robotics, simulation, cyber security and additive manufacturing.
As part of the simulation projects, Coventry University will be demonstrating virtual versions of an 1897 plane that was designed but never built, a Red Bull air race winner and a flying car that could make road congestion a thing of the past. All the simulations have been designed by students.
Flight researcher Dr Mike Bromfield, from Coventry University’s Centre for Future, Transport and Cities, said: “They have all contributed to work that could shape the future of transportation and aviation, as well as playing an important role in our students’ future careers and successes.
“Farnborough provides the perfect opportunity to showcase these projects to aviation experts from around the world, as well as giving students a taste of the thrill of aviation and aerospace engineering.”
Representing how the future could look, transport design student Dean Mangurenje’s flying car is a prototype of an electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL).
The vehicle has been used as part of a wider research project between Coventry University and car sharing app, Uber.
Another exhibitor is Birmingham-based Righton. It has an aerospace division providing customers throughout the UK with a complete range of materials, from steel to composites through a supply chain partnership.
Joining it is Chesterfield-based Techman Engineering, a precision engineer supplying parts to a range of industries, including aerospace. It also provides composites - either as wholly-composite or as a combination of steel and composite.
Heat treatment specialists Alloy Heat Treatment and Wallwork Heat Treatment are also flying the flag for the Made In Group.
Ian Perks, Sales/New Projects Director at Alloy Heat Treatment, said: “It’s one of the most important exhibitions for us and is a great platform for us to showcase our services.”
Wallwork said that since the last Farnborough event in 2016 it had seen a series of new developments including new prime approvals, an acquisition and new investments in vacuum brazing and plasma nitriding processes and equipment.
Completing the roster of firms participating is Walther Trowal. The Birmingham-based business manufactures surface finishing equipment.
Jason Pitt, CEO of the Made In Group said the strong showing by members was reflective of the importance of the aerospace to both to the Midlands and Yorkshire.
He said: “The aerospace supply chain forms a critical part of the Midlands and Yorkshire manufacturing industries. To see such a strong showing at such an important event as Farnborough is reassuring, especially coming so soon after the adverse comments from Airbus.
“The strength of the Made In presence underlines the importance of continuing to unite the UK's manufacturing community so that we can build on the renaissance witnessed by the sector in recent years.
“The attitude demonstrated by our members will serve the UK well as we approach Brexit. Our supply chain and formidable national infrastructure are valuable assets to the aerospace OEMs so the government must ensure it secures the sector the best deal it can so that we can continue to lead the world in this important industry.”
(Pic credit BAE Systems)