10/6/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Renishaw Joins Airbus Project

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Renishaw brings AM and measurement expertise to the project, which focuses on aircraft wing design.

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Renishaw is contributing its additive manufacturing expertise to a new project, being led by Airbus in the United Kingdom, to develop an innovative way of designing and manufacturing aircraft wings, which will encourage a “right first time approach” and reduce development time.

The project, called Wing Design Methodology Validation (WINDY), is jointly funded by industry and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI). It was one of a number of projects announced by BEIS during the Farnborough International Airshow.

“Aircraft wing design is a hugely complicated process and this project will look at ways we can increase the robustness of the design and test process while also reducing the time this takes,” said Airbus COO Tom Williams. “Developing state-of-the-art technology will be at the heart of achieving these improvements and this investment is vital for that.”

WINDY will look at aerodynamic modelling of wings, the potential for use of complex 3D-printed components in wing structures and the possibility of innovative loads control on aircraft for better efficiency in flight.

The project will be led by a team from Airbus in Filton, Bristol, which is a global center of excellence for wing design, development and testing. As a key partner, Renishaw will provide its expertise in metal additive manufacturing and precision measurement.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to work with Airbus and other project partners to develop processes that will fully test the capabilities of additive manufacturing,” said Clive Martell, Renishaw’s head of global additive manufacturing. “If we can highlight the design and production benefits of this technology in one of the most demanding industry sectors, then it paves the way for greater of adoption of AM for serialized production in many other applications.”

“One of the key aims of the ATI’s UK national aerospace strategy is to sustain and grow the UK’s global leadership in aircraft wings,” said Simon Weeks, Chief Technology Officer of the Aerospace Technology Institute. “The WINDY project is a key element of this aim, securing essential wing design and integration capabilities in the UK and opening the way to innovative 3D-printed wing components. These will lead to lighter and more efficient wings, which will be needed for future generations of greener airliners.”

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