Wed, 09 December, 2020
Covid-19 has changed the way we do business, challenging the way we support and collaborate with our Industrial Members. Despite these limitations, the collaboration between TWI and BAE Systems continues to prosper. Examples of this include the installation of TWI’s BeamAssureTM equipment at BAE Systems’ Samlesbury facility, completion of many R&D projects during 2020 and the introduction of a webinar programme to increase opportunities for collaboration.
Through dedicated key account management, world-leading expertise and periodic business reviews, the TWI team has continued to provide consultation and support to BAE Systems on a wide range of programmes, including Tempest, F35, Astute, Dreadnought and the Type 26/Hunter Class.
BAE Systems’ collaboration with TWI is influenced by TWI’s expertise in many areas of advanced manufacturing, such as friction welding, electron beam welding, additive manufacturing, fracture testing and phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT). Many of these processes support BAE Systems’ aspirations for Factory of the Future.
Much of the interaction between BAE Systems and TWI during 2020 has occurred through a programme of webinars organised by TWI to provide insights on new processes and services. TWI has presented technical webinar sessions to over 120 BAE Systems employees through 2020, leading to a number of identified areas for further discussion and improvement.
A Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2019 has seen BAE Systems and TWI trade studies on existing and future products and jointly explore how to best leverage public funding opportunities. In 2021, BAE Systems will support TWI’s ambition to explore available funding opportunities to enable set up of a regional centre for excellence on the Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone in Lancashire alongside BAE Systems' manufacturing hub.
BAE Systems’ official representative to TWI, Professor Andrew Schofield, Technology Delivery Director at BAE Systems – Air Sector, had the following to say on the partnership:
“We have a long-standing relationship with TWI that spans our air, land and maritime sectors and helps us to drive innovation and improvements into our manufacturing processes and products.
“In the Air sector, we are working hard to demonstrate our ability to deliver a Future Combat Air System, Tempest for the UK in half the time and half the cost. As part of our manufacturing strategy to deliver this, we are working closely with TWI to explore, research and adopt the latest materials and manufacturing technologies to meet this ambitious vision. Despite the challenge of a global pandemic, our teams have continued to work together on a daily basis to step up to the challenge of delivering next generation manufacturing capability for a next generation aircraft.”
TWI’s Key Account Manager for BAE Systems, Dr Anthony McAndrew, also spoke on the interaction between TWI and BAE Systems, saying:
“BAE Systems are a world-leading manufacturing organisation, producing next-generation products that utilise the most advanced manufacturing technologies. To have BAE Systems acknowledge our expertise in advanced joining processes is a tremendous accolade for our organisation.
“BAE’s engineers work closely with our teams and challenge us to think of innovative ways to apply our expertise and implement our technologies on their engineering programmes, such as Tempest and Dreadnought. As we enter 2021 I look forward to continuing this collaboration to help our BAE Systems colleagues with their engineering challenges.”
Key Account Manager, Anthony McAndrew, intends to build on this good work and grow individual professional membership of The Welding Institute with BAE Systems employees, allowing them to continue their career progression to Engineering Technician (EngTech), Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Incorporated Engineer (IEng) status.
TWI will continue to support BAE Systems, along with all our Industrial Members, to provide them with the world-leading expertise they expect and require from us.
(Main Image: BAE Systems Factory of the Future in Warton, Lancashire)