The global defence, aerospace, BAE Systems and security company, Siemens, have further strengthened a decade-long working relationship through an agreement to develop closer strategic collaboration to drive growth in skills and technology solutions, while supporting key industrial UK and regional development plans.
The two-year agreement covers the exchange of a wide range of technologies and skills across mutually beneficial areas to further improvements and efficiencies within real time engineering projects, operations and research and development. With each company operating within complex, but different sectors, the collaboration hopes to realise the benefits of combining the in-depth expertise from each business to challenge existing technology and business processes and create even stronger industry solutions.
Brian Holliday, Managing Director, Digital Factory, Siemens UK & Ireland, comments: “This agreement further formalises an excellent existing relationship between Siemens and BAE Systems, both leaders in their fields. We face a period of industrial challenge, but also opportunity as inspired by Industry 4.0 and the potential for a significant productivity shift in manufacturing. By working together on technology, skills and smart working practice, we aim to realise the full benefits of digital manufacturing. This is an exciting development that will positively contribute to both our businesses and the North West region.”
A key scheme set to benefit from the agreement is the Innovation in Manufacturing & Engineering (IME) programme – a supply chain development initiative in partnership with Lancaster University. It focuses on driving forward leadership and innovation skills for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the North West. The programme also provides a platform for the new North West Advanced Manufacturing Centre base at the Lancashire Enterprise Zone in Samlesbury. Both Siemens and BAE Systems are hosting delegates as part of the scheme, involving them in specific innovation challenges and giving them experience of methods of working with their supply chains.
Siemens and BAE Systems already work in partnership as joint founding partners on the North West Catapult Centre, which is committed to supporting the development of skills and capability, as well as having a shared presence on a number of research boards, innovation councils and working groups supporting national and regional initiatives. Both companies have also made considerable investments in technology centres located around existing high technology sites with the aim of encouraging smaller businesses to grow innovation based projects, as well as attracting larger businesses to invest to benefit from a technology-based cluster environment.
David Holmes, Manufacturing Operations Director from BAE Systems, Military Air & Information Business Unit concludes: “The scope of the collaboration is unlimited and will see us work closely together to optimise technology solutions for infrastructure, advanced materials, and industry, as well as examining how we can partner in areas such as renewable energies, sustainability, education and training to name but a few. At a time when all stakeholders need to address the UK’s productivity puzzle to drive UK economic growth, prosperity and create high value jobs, we believe such partnerships can make a significant contribution.”
One of the practical examples of the benefits driven from the collaboration is the support offered by Siemens of the lifecycle of the 5 axis titanium machining facility at BAE Systems Samlesbury. This technology reduces production downtime, enabling BAE Systems to meet the complex requirements of the F35 program.