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Spirit AeroSystems (Europe) Joins The UK High Value Manufacturing Catapults Network

FARNBOROUGH, England, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Spirit AeroSystems ( Europe) Ltd. has recently announced its plans to increase R&D footprint in Europe by joining the Catapult Technology Innovation Centres in High Value Manufacturing (HVM), a government supported initiative. Spirit will be joining the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield to strengthen its applied research activities on Aerostructures design, manufacturing and assembly technologies.

The state-of-the-art facilities and equipment combined with the specialist knowledge offered by the centres, gives Spirit an opportunity to enhance its technology portfolio within an interdisciplinary and cross-sector environment.

Marcello Grassi, Head of Technology, Spirit AeroSystems ( Europe) Ltd. commented, " We anticipate that product and technology innovation, as well as business synergies, will be further accelerated within the AMRC and MTC Catapult centres. Both of the centres have an established track record on applied industrial research and acute business focus on return of investment."

This collaboration is an integral part of Spirit's Research and Development Technology strategy aimed at developing technologies and product solutions capable of meeting future customer requirements and market demand.

Neil McManus, Vice President and Managing Director, Spirit AeroSystems ( Europe) Ltd. said:

"Technological advancements in modelling, simulation, composite fabrication, automation and robotics have pushed the traditional boundaries of Aerostructures design and manufacturing as well as considerably shortening the whole Aerostructures product development cycle. This progression requires significant commitments by OEMs and their supplier collaborators such as Spirit AeroSystems, to undertake the complex, multi-collaborative, highly-integrated and technology-reach development programmes. Having a research and development laboratory such as the HVM Catapult centres, built to an industrial scale with all the associated engineering and technological knowledge in the same place, opens up a number of interesting avenues for Spirit's technology strategy."

"We are thrilled by the scale of the opportunity associated with the HVM Catapults, specifically for our business needs and for the UK high value manufacturing industry. From a Spirit perspective it is anticipated that within the AMRC environment we will be able to lower the risk of  high value capital equipment business investments, exploit technologies onto real scale Aerostructures products and successfully demonstrate Technology Readiness Level maturity to our customers prior to transitioning solutions into Aerostructures assembly. From a UK aerospace industry perspective this allows Spirit to contribute to the government-industry initiatives to bolster high value manufacturing, enhance business competitiveness and nurture a culture of innovation and skills growth within the entire aerospace supply chain."

Professor Keith Ridgway CBE, Research Director, AMRC, added, " Collaborations like this is essential to developing the technology required to support Spirit AeroSystems as a supplier of choice in the Aerospace market. We are delighted to welcome them as a valued member of the AMRC."  

On the web:

About Spirit AeroSystems Inc.

Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR), with headquarters in Wichita, Kan., USA, is one of the world's largest non-OEM designers and manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial aircraft. In addition to its Wichita and Chanute facilities in Kansas, Spirit has locations in Tulsa and McAlester, Okla.; Kinston, N.C.; Prestwick, Scotland; Preston, England; Subang, Malaysia; and Saint-Nazaire, France. In the U.S., Spirit's core products include fuselages, pylons, nacelles and wing components. Additionally, Spirit provides aftermarket customer support services, including spare parts, maintenance/repair/overhaul, and fleet support services in North America, Europe and Asia. Spirit Europe produces wing components for a host of customers, including Airbus.

About the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre

The University Of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing is a world-class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors. It is a partnership between industry and academia, which has become a model for research centres worldwide. The AMRC identifies researches and resolves advanced manufacturing problems, with a focus on developing new technologies and processes for machining high-performance metal alloys and other materials used in aerospace and other industries. Since its launch in January 2001, the AMRC has grown to employ around 200 highly qualified researchers, engineers and support staff from around the globe, in dedicated facilities on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in South Yorkshire. The AMRC is supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

For more information, see

About the High Value Manufacturing Catapult

The High Value Manufacturing Catapult was created in 2011 by the UK government to provide a stimulus for British manufacturing through a consortium of seven manufacturing technology centres which provide cross sector manufacturing and process technology support to SMEs and large multi-national industrial partners.

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