Aerospace innovator chooses West Sweden for new additive production site

GKN Aerospace (press)
Photo: GKN Aerospace

Global aerospace company GKN Aerospace has announced it will invest GBP 50 million, approximately SEK 650 million, in a new centre of excellence in West Sweden, to accelerate and scale-up production of its groundbreaking additive fabrication technology. The investment will create 150 jobs for highly skilled engineers and operators.

The new additive production centre will be embedded in the company’s large site at Trollhättan, just outside of Gothenburg. There it has over 2,000 employees and develops and manufactures engine components for the aviation and space industries.

“It is gratifying that GKN Aerospace now chooses to establish a new facility in Trollhättan. The investment will be of great importance for the development of the aerospace industry and contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases. It is positive for the green transition as well as for Swedish competitiveness, and emphasises Sweden's prominent role as one of the world's most sustainable and innovative countries,” said Jan Larsson, CEO at Business Sweden, in a press release.

A private-public partnership

Currently, aircraft engine components rely on large castings and forgings, with up to 80% of the material machined away before reaching the final form. By using its additive production technology, GKN can minimise raw material waste, energy use and shipping within production. This significantly cuts emissions, costs and lead time.

“We are committed to driving sustainability in the aviation industry and pioneering improved solutions for our customers. Our development of additive fabrication for large, complex and load-bearing aircraft components is a great example of this and it marks a significant breakthrough for the industry,” said Joakim Andersson, president of GKN Aerospace’s Engines business in a press release.

GKN Aerospace has been at the forefront of additive fabrication for almost two decades, and has significant research and technology centres in Sweden, the UK and the US. 

The new production centre in western Sweden is expected to be completed in 2024 and will serve as an important hub for GKN's future expansion in the segment. 

The Swedish Energy Agency’s Industriklivet initiative - which offers financial support for projects that have good potential to contribute to a resource-efficient and climate neutral industry - will fund SEK 152 million of this investment. 

“The benefits we see from this technology are truly game-changing. Government support has been pivotal in enabling us to push our capabilities forward and I am delighted to establish this unique technology in our world-leading facility in Trollhättan, Sweden,” said Joakim Andersson in the press release. 

West Sweden - a prominent hub for Swedish aerospace

Gothenburg and West Sweden have a long tradition in aerospace. The region holds a prominent position in the international aerospace industry, with both large and small companies, advanced research and world-class education. 

Apart from GKN Aerospace, other global companies with major operations in the region include Saab, Beyond Gravity, Quamcom Research and Technology, Heart Aerospace and Carmenta Geospatial Technologies. 

“We have a large aerospace industry in West Sweden. Several of the country's largest and most innovative aerospace companies are located here. A sizeable portion of the people working in the Swedish aerospace industry are in West Sweden, and our companies account for a significant share of the industry's national turnover," says Hannes Lindkvist, project manager for ICT and aerospace at Business Region Göteborg.