Rolls-Royce lands with £110m factory

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Rolls-Royce has opened a £110million turbine blade factory - dubbed the most advanced in the world - in Rotherham, creating up to 150 jobs.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock officially launched the Advanced Blade Casting Facility on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, which is set to produce more than 100,000 blades a year.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock opens the Rolls-Royce Advanced Blade Casting Facility. Picture: Andrew Roe

Business Minister Matthew Hancock opens the Rolls-Royce Advanced Blade Casting Facility. Picture: Andrew Roe

Work on the factory started in 2012 and the first blade will be produced this summer. They will be used in many of the 400 aero engines the firm makes each year - including the new Trent XWB, claimed to be one of the most efficient in the world.

Rolls-Royce says advances in manufacturing, automation and inspection have cut blade manufacturing time by 50 per cent.

Derby-based Gareth Davies, executive vice president of turbines, is in charge of the facility, which received the lion’s share of a £15million Government investment in the company.

He said Rotherham was chosen for its strong tradition of engineering excellence, highly skilled workforce and excellence in machining.

He said: “The blades allow us to be globally competitive.

“This process determines what our engines can do – this is the most advanced blade casting facility in the world. Rolls-Royce is committed to investing in innovative technology and world-class facilities to help us deliver our record £73.7billion order book.”

Turbine blades are the powerhouse of jet engines and operate in the hottest part of the engine.

They are made from a super alloy comprised of nickel and small quantities of exotic metals such as rhenium.

After being cast in Rotherham they are shipped to Derby or the US for machining and then a ceramic coating is applied before they are fitted in an aero engine back in Derby.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “This new facility is a truly remarkable piece of engineering.

“Our aerospace growth partnership has put in place a long-term industrial strategy and this investment by Rolls-Royce in modern manufacturing is testament to the ongoing strength of the sector.”