It was recently announced that Boeing are to open a new factory, and the first in Europe, in Sheffield, and will be built alongside the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).
Boeing are to work with AMRC to develop manufacturing techniques that can be used at the new factory, while also initiating a major research and development programme.
The idea behind bringing Boeing to Sheffield is to reduce costs and enhance production efficiency, and will enable Boeing to manufacture key high-tech actuation components and systems used in Boeing’s Next-Generation 737, 737 MAX and 777 aircraft.
The AMRC has grown over the past 16 years to include over 90 partners, ranging from aerospace, medical, automotive and construction, and has become world renowned for its ability to develop new manufacturing techniques and technologies.
As well as utilising the AMRC’s existing capabilities, Boeing are expected to start the recruitment process in 2018 and will capitalise on Sheffield’s skilled workforce.
The announcement from Boeing mirrors that of the recently announced new partnership between the AMRC and McLaren Automotive.
McLaren are working with the AMRC in order to help develop the advanced manufacturing processes that will help McLaren speed up the production of its chassis for the future cars at its new site, the Composites Technology Centre, which is also going to be built in Sheffield.
In the UK, Boeing currently employs around 2,300 staff, working in both civil and military fields. They also recently won two contracts for the British Military, where they will supply the P-8 Poseidon spy plane for the RAF, as well as upgrading the army’s fleet of Apache helicopters. While very little work will actually be carried out in the UK, the deals were reportedly worth around £5bn.
Chris Hill, manufacturing Partner at Hawsons, commented: “This is a major coup, not only for the University of Sheffield, but also for Sheffield as a city. Boeing will bring its world-renowned name to Sheffield and also provide the Sheffield people with jobs – further showing the skills we have here in the city. Economically, it will do the region a world of good, benefiting from the production of Boeing’s technology and McLaren’s cars. It shows once more that Sheffield is a hub for manufacturing and hopefully the city can attract more reputable companies to the city in the future.”