As part of the contract, Brotje will provide a turnkey solution for the assembly line of aircraft’s wing trailing edge (WTE) and main landing gear parts on its all-composite rear wing spar.
Phil Swash, chief executive of GKN Aero structures in Europe, said: ‘Our A350XWB contracts are at the heart of GKN Aerospace’s strategic move into the manufacture and supply of large, fully integrated sections of the aircraft wing. In order to undertake this work we are investing heavily in creating a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly plant at our operation in Bristol, UK.’
According to GKN, the Brotje moving line assembly equipment will be a key part of the Filton, Bristol-based operations, increasing the speed, efficiency and flexibility of the process. During assembly, automated guided vehicles will move the A350 wing structures through workstations that will carry out procedures such as five-axis machining, robotic drilling and laser scanning.
Swash added: ‘Filton will become our global centre of manufacturing excellence in advanced wing structures, offering state-of-the-art composite manufacture and assembly with faster turnaround times and greater consistency and quality than has been achievable to date. The Filton business will be central to our drive to take a significant part of the global wing structures market over the next 30-40 years.’
The assembly line, and complete new GKN Aerospace manufacturing and assembly facility, will begin operating in 2010 providing development A350XWB wing structures later in the year.