GKN Aerospace has strengthened its commitment to sustainable manufacturing with an investment of over €50 million (SEK 600 million) in its state-of-the-art additive manufacturing technology in Trollhättan, Sweden.
A significant part of this investment, £12 million (SEK 152 million), is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency’s Industriklivet initiative. The aim is to revolutionize production methods by reducing raw material consumption by up to 80%. The technology will be implemented at the GKN Aerospace plant in Trollhättan and is expected to be operational by the end of 2024.
Currently, aircraft engine components are based on large castings and forgings, from which up to 80% of the material is removed before reaching the final shape. By using additive technology, where layer upon layer is built up with metal wire or powder fused by laser, GKN Aerospace minimizes raw material waste, energy consumption and shipping within production. This leads to a significant reduction in emissions, costs and lead times.
GKN Aerospace has been a leader in additive manufacturing for almost two decades and has major research and technology centers in Sweden, the UK and the US. Thanks to Industriklivet’s support, the new additive manufacturing center in Sweden is expected to create around 150 new jobs for operators, technicians and engineers at the Trollhättan plant.
Joakim Andersson, president of GKN Aerospace’s Engines business, said: “We are committed to driving sustainability in the aviation industry and pioneering improved solutions for our customers. Our development of additive fabrication for large, complex and load-bearing aircraft components is a great example of this and it marks a significant breakthrough for the industry. The benefits we see from this technology are truly game-changing. Government support has been pivotal in enabling us to push our capabilities forward and I am delighted to establish this unique technology in our world-leading facility in Trollhättan Sweden.”
Peter Engdahl, Head of Research, Innovation and Business Development at the Swedish Energy Agency said: “GKN Aerospace’s solution will be able to contribute to a reduced use of raw materials and create opportunities to fundamentally change the design, making the aircraft engine lighter and more efficient. This is the first time this technology is being tested for this component size and we see the potential for it to spread globally and also in other areas.”