Rolls-Royce plans to create a new Centre of Competence for manufacturing certain types of airfoils, as well as a new production center for mainline engine shafts, with a £60-million ($94-million) investment at a plant near Glasgow, Scotland. The Inchinnan operation was among the plant affected by the engine and turbine manufacturer’s cost-cutting and restructuring plan, outlined earlier this year. It was targeted for downsizing and the loss of about 190 positions, though the new investments may establish up to 130 new jobs, according to reports.
The timing of the investment was not announced. The Scottish plant was established with an initial investment £85 million ($132.6 million), and Rolls noted it has continued to invest in the operations there over the past decade.
Inchinnan continues to be the site for manufacturing pressure blades and high- and intermediate-pressure shrouds for Rolls’ Trent 900 turbofan jet engines, for commercial aircraft.
The new Centre of Competence will manufacture a range of airfoils, including turbine and compressor components, for Rolls-Royce engines that are no longer in high-volume production, including the Adour (a twin-shaft turbofan engine installed on some fighter jets) and the BR715 (a twin-shaft turbofan engine installed on some regional jets.) Such a product selection requires a flexible workforce with a high degree of specialist knowledge, according to Rolls-Royce.
The mainline shafts produced at the updated operation will be installed in all Rolls-Royce aerospace engines, it noted.
While company has announced job cuts and other downsizing efforts to reduce operating costs and improve production efficiencies, it also has invested in new “centres of competence” for critical parts, like aerospace discs, fan blades, and cases.
“Rolls-Royce is focused on transforming our global industrial base to develop our world-class, competitive supply chain, concentrating investment in high-technology and high-intellectual property in key areas to help us deliver to customers,” commented Mike Mosley, COO – Supply Chain.
“Our investment in Inchinnan demonstrates our commitment to innovative technology and world-class facilities which will improve performance and drive profitable growth for our business,” he added.
We recognize the dedication and flexibility of the Inchinnan workforce who continue to play a key role in the success of Rolls-Royce.”
Rolls-Royce initially invested £85 million in the facility at Inchinnan and has continued to invest over the last decade.
The new location for the manufacture of shafts will provide Rolls-Royce with capacity needed to deliver on our multi-billion pound order book. It complements our existing facility in Derby and capacity in our external supply chain.