3: Using Sheffield City Region’s knowledge to enhance production elsewhere

Rolls-Royce worked with the AMRC to improve the manufacturing process of key components in aerospace manufacturing, called aero-engine discs.

The materials used to make the discs are difficult to carve and require complex manufacturing processes. AMRC engineers used simulation tools to guide the fixture design and machining of the disc, to improve the fabrication process. This and other innovations developed by the AMRC allowed Rolls-Royce to reduce the time it takes to manufacture each disc by 50 per cent. Rolls-Royce is now implementing the technology in its manufacturing facility in Sunderland.

This shows the importance of the AMRC as the place to generate the high-value outputs of the manufacturing process. Despite Rolls-Royce being a company with large resources and R&D facilities of its own, gaining access to the AMRC research and collaborating with its engineers in Sheffield provided an advantage for production facilities elsewhere in the country.