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Sigma secures £1.6M research project

News International-French

2 Apr 2015

Aerospace manufacturer Sigma Precision Components is celebrating after securing investment from the UK Government’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) to develop composite drive shafts for aerospace applications.

The project, worth £1.6 million, will see the business working in conjunction with engineers at the University of Manchester to develop composite drive shafts as a lightweight alternative to traditional designs. The project is being supported by Moog Aircraft Group based in Wolverhampton. AMSCI is supporting the project with a £0.3 million loan and a £0.7 million grant.

Mike Andreae, Director of Technology and Improvement at Sigma, said: “We’re delighted that AMSCI is supporting this programme, which offers real potential to reduce weight and improve the performance of this key component.

“The programme follows on naturally from our successful CleanSky-funded COMPipe project, which developed new manufacturing techniques to manufacture composite aero-engine pipes that offer significant weight savings when compared to their traditional, metallic counterparts.
“We’re now looking to apply some of that technology to this new drive shaft project.”

AMSCI is a funding competition designed to improve the global competitiveness of UK advanced manufacturing supply chain. Funding is available to support research and development, skills training and capital investment to help UK supply chains achieve world-class standards and encourage major new suppliers to locate in the UK.

Twenty supply chain projects from across the country will benefit from a total of £67 million of Government investment, with £109 million being invested in the same projects by industry.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “While there is much to celebrate about British manufacturing, it is clear that our supplier base has been eroded over the last thirty years. Reversing this will boost exports, and help safeguard UK jobs. Our targeted interventions have helped revive the great British manufacturing sector.

“The benefits of stronger manufacturing supply chains will be felt across the whole economy – new cutting-edge technologies, a more highly skilled work force and improved productivity will boost growth and jobs across the country.”

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Manufacturing is seeing a resurgence across the UK. “From the world leading 3D printing in Coventry to the next generation of aerospace components in Gloucestershire, Britain is standing tall in the world once again.

“Strong supply chains are at the root of this success and these new funds will keep Britain competitive.” AMSCI funding provides research and development support, skills training, investment capital and encourages major new suppliers to ‘reshore’ in the UK. The manufacturing sector supports two and a half million jobs and contributes almost £150 billion a year to the UK.