Last friday, November 20th, Saab 91 Safir took to the skies for the first time. This aircraft was developed by Saab and during 1946-1966, 323 deliveries were made. In Sweden it was used for basic flight training (SK50) and to a certain extent for transport purposes (TP91). The aircraft was also exported to, amongst others, Austria, Norway and Finland.
But where do GKN Aerospace enter the picture? Well, we’ve been manufacturing engines to Saab for almost a 100 years and in this case, “Trollet” (the troll) was supposed to be the engine of choice.
During WWII, Svenska Flygmotor AB in Trollhättan (which today is GKN Aerospace) had begun to develop a 4-cylinder, air-cooled flat engine which was given the name Trollet. It was assumed that the civil aerospace market would develop as rapidly as the military and the company wanted to position itself towards this new market. SFA F-541-A “Trollet” weighed 135 kg, had a displacement of 5.1 liters and developed 140 hp at 2500 rpm.
However, the civil market didn’t develop as anticipated and Trollet was never installed in the Safir as initially planned. A few years later, there was a need for air-cooled flat engines for installation in military vehicles whereupon Trollet was further developed and given the new designation B42. SFA received an order of 105 B42 engines from the Royal Army Administration, which was to be installed in the assault gun IKV103 (Infanterikanonvagn 103). These engines were delivered between 1956-1957.
This engine was further developed into the B44 which delivered 150 hp and in a format that allowed for easier maintenance. 230 engines were delivered for installation into the PBV301 IFV. The troll thus remained on the ground, which, however wasn’t a failure but rather a success considering the newly found application and amount of deliveries.
This is just a mere snippet from our 90-year old history as a company. Much of the development that was carried out during the post-war period led to business opportunities and relationships with companies that still stand strong today and to which we still deliver products. Something that we are very proud of!
A year ago, I was planning my master thesis. Already during the summer I started thinking about it. Many thoughts and questions but not as many answers. Would I stay in Luleå where I studied or would I move to the Stockholm area where I grew up or would I stay in Sweden at all? What company? Should I write only myself or with someone and if so, who? What are the pros and cons?
In September I started to look around for options and already at the end of September/ early October I had knew where I would carry out my degree project and what it would be about what but with whom was not clear until the beginning of December. In January 2020, I moved down to Södertälje, a town outside Stockholm, and began my thesis together with a classmate and just when we started to get into our project, a pandemic came and our whole setup had to be rethought. Also there, however, time went incredibly fast and suddenly it was June and digital presentations were held for both school and company and shortly afterwards, there it was, I had my diploma in hand.
Despite the fact that a pandemic has hit the whole world and companies as well as cities are shutting down, I am incredibly happy to be able to tell you that we will bring in thesis workers during the spring of 2021 again. If you, who are reading this, are thinking about writing your thesis, I highly recommend taking a look at the degree projects that can be carried out here with us at GKN Aerospace in Trollhättan.
You can find degree projects HERE and we regularly publish degree projects so if you don’t find anything right now, feel free to come back and check again in a while. However, do not wait too long to apply as I know that the last application date for some is already in mid-November and that selection may take place on an ongoing basis. If you have any questions or concerns about the thesis, there is contact information in each brief, or visit GKN’s website HERE . If you still have questions, you are of course welcome to contact us at email@example.com.
I hope to see you here in the spring! Have a nice week, My
It’s said that time flies when you’re having fun and these last weeks are no exception! All of us have now written a blog post about our initial impressions during the first time in the rotations. My first rotation and hence my home department is within solid mechanics that is responsible for performing calculations and analyses on both new and current products within the engine segment. In an aircraft engine, high loads and stresses occur as a result of (amongst other causes) high temperature differences, airflows and rotational velocities. These stresses must be verified such that materials and construction doesn’t fail and that flight safety is not compromised.
It’s a very interesting subject as the analysis becomes very detailed both in terms of design and physical effects that a component is subjected to. At the same time, a general understanding of the engine is required as all parts and systems are connected and therefore affects each other. With my background in aeronautics from university and flying in my spare time, I find it particularly exciting as GKN Aerospace is involved in several major engine programmes with Pratt & Whitney, Rolls Royce and General Electric (Read more here!)
We’re now heading into the fourth week of our first rotation. In mid-December we’ll conduct our second development week and until then we have some exciting activities planned outside of our daily work. More about that in future posts!
Time flies when you are having fun! The shot indicating the start of our seventh week has just been fired, and we have been through a lot, not the least two whole weeks at our first rotation. Initially it was a lot to take in, and learn about each respective placement. However, as each day passes we all feel that we are more and more in the game.
As Emma introduced last week, my first rotation is within quality. My first two weeks have been very eventful. Within quality people often refer to variation as the villain, but in my case it was the complete opposite. I was very glad to have a lot of varied tasks where no two days were the same. I have been reading up on quality standards, which is an important part within aerospace as there are more narrow requirements on the products and the way they are made. As a part of ISO9001 comes the process oriented management system, which is used to describe and guide the many processes in place. The idea is for me to review a subprocess and how it can become more of a living process, but more on that at a later stage. Other days I have spent time on the shopfloor to gather information for an improvement project that seeks to simplify how data is being visualized in one part of the production. Around all the specific tasks a lot of meetings take place, where I have gotten the chance to meet lots of nice people and simultaneously collect lots of new knowledge.
Finally, we as new graduates would like to send a big thanks to all our coworkers for the world class welcome. Also, don’t miss next week’s update. Jens will return to tell you all about his time in solid mechanics.
We have just finished our fifth week as trainees here at GKN Aerospace, but also our first week, out of 10, at our rotations. Each of us are at different departments within the company and we will be working with everything from quality and production to solid mechanics.
My first rotation is within a department that works with the supply chain. The goal is to gain an overall understanding of the supply chain, both regarding the day to day tasks but also their strategic work. My week started with a tour in one of the workshops and proceeded with me learning about everything from production planning to material flows and customer needs. In addition to the days being very educational, I had the opportunity to meet many people from different departments at the company, something that is always fun. It has been an intense week and I am sure that Robin, My, Marcus and Jens agrees with me when I say that it has been very rewarding!
Next week Robin will share his work at the quality department, see you then!
Our fourth week at GKN Aerospace was a so called activity-week, which means that two days were spent on group and leadership development while the remaining days were meant for study visits. Due to the COVID situation very few companies were interested in inviting outsiders to their sites, which resulted in that our study visits were much more limited than those performed by previous graduates.
During the development days there was a couple of group exercises done to get to know each other better and to investigate which roles we take on in different situations. These exercise were later used in order to relate the theoretical knowledge to our own actions. A lot of focus were spent on the stages that newly formed groups go through (forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning), how these stages impact the group members and what types of leadership styles that are efficient in the different stages. We also learned the basics regarding how human’s reacts to feedback and how feedback should be given in a constructive way in order to circumvent the natural defense mechanisms. These exercises were very interesting and my general opinion is that people need to become better at giving feedback.
Our first study visit was at GKNs own Global Technology Center (GTC) here in Trollhättan where we got a warm welcome, a presentation of the purpose of GTC and a guided tour. We got the opportunity to see some advanced additive manufacturing methods that they are investigating and the composite manufacturing laboratory where they are trying to automatize the process of building composite turbine blades.
The second place that we visited were the Swedish air-base F7 in Såtenäs, where we watched how the technicians prepare the Swedish fighter aircraft JAS before take-off and a couple of take-offs. This was combined with a presentation of how the flight technicians work in general, what type of maintenance they perform on the fighter jets between flights and a close up inspection of the fighters that were currently in the maintenance hangar. I was very impressed by this visit since I have never seen the JAS-fighters in action on such a close distance before.
As a whole it was a couple of exiting days with a lot of laughter and I got the feeling that I have learned new things about all group members. Now are all the trainees preparing for new adventures and starting this week will we be on our first rotations. I will start at the manufacturing engineering department but I still don’t know what type of projects I will be working on.
Last week we ended our workshop practice with presentations and tours to share with each other about what we had learned during the week. We were all in a bit different places to be able to broaden our understanding and product knowledge about the parts being manufactured here in Trollhättan. I myself followed details, so-called discs, which will later on be put in some of Pratt & Whitney’s engines (as you can see in the picture below). It was really interesting to see how the large amount of different products, which required different processing and different amount of time, actually went through the stream since these parts does not count as high volume products at the company. On behalf of the group, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank everyone out in the workshops who showed us around and shared their knowledge and took care of us during these days and I hope to see you again soon!
Due to the current situation, we have unfortunately not had the opportunity to do a physical onboarding as the previous trainees did at the beginning of the program, but luckily there is internet! J Since we started at GKN, we have started an online onboarding where we had the opportunity to listen to exciting guest speakers, participated in Q&A’s, broaden our understanding of principles, engagement and group development as well as we have gotten to know the trainees from last year’s group thanks to online meetings.
This week will be our first activity week where we will now continue to learn about group development and group dynamics. We are also very happy that we managed to book some study visits, but exactly where we are going and how it was, you will find out next week!
Hope you had a good weekend and I wish you a nice week and we will be in touch again soon!
Now the first year has passed for us here at GKN Aerospace and oh boy does time fly when you’re having fun! During this time we have completed our first three rotations, visited two GKN sites, performed three development weeks with all Global Graduates, represented GKN at trade fairs and arranged lots of study visits at the Trollhättan site. Last but not least, we have met and been inspired by our wonderful colleagues here in the company!
Therefore, we want to thank you all for a wonderful first year and for the years to come.
As September 1st we are not the only active graduates at the Trollhättan site, so we would like to warmly welcome the next round of trainees: Jens, Emma, Robin, My and Marcus! They have taken over the blog and, as you’ve probably noticed, already posted an introduction of themselves.
Now it’s time for us to start the next chapter in our journey. This year there will be no abroad assignment due to the current situation. Instead, we will stay at the site and continue with our fourth rotation, followed by an exciting joint project.
The time has come for the new group of young graduates to carry on with the blog. We are, just like previous year, five graduates from different cities and universities around Sweden that has joined GKN Aerospace in Trollhättan. In the picture above we visited a playground in the town center that is inspired by the industrial history of the town. There is, for instance, a nozzle for the Ariane 5 heavy-lift launcher that is rebuilt into a slide. The nozzle is one of the many products being developed and manufactured at GKN in Trollhättan. You can read more about it here.
The first week contained lots of new information regarding the graduate program and the company. We were assigned the departments for the first rotation which is also the department each person will return to at the end of the graduate program. Each graduate will describe their department more in detail in their own posts the coming weeks. Except for the administrative activities we also enjoyed an afternoon of disc golf together with the previous young graduates.
The second week was mostly spent in the workshops and we started out by getting an insight into the Industrial Engineering Program which is a unique high-school program where students combine theoretical subject with practical work in a manufacturing workshop. In order to understand the manufacturing processes at GKN, we got try manual lathing and milling which, for some of us, was a new experience. At the end of the week we were sent out to different parts of the site to gain understanding of how each product is processed throughout the production line.
We’re all very excited and happy to finally start this graduate program and the expectations are high for future rotations, tasks and the experiences we’ll gather the coming years.
If you’re curious to know more about us you can navigate here!
Hope you all have had a lovely summer. We are now back to work and preparing for our next rotation. This autumn/winter we will be doing one more rotation but then we will switch to doing a collaborative project together instead. Super exciting! It is not yet decided what it will be, but we will let you know as soon as we can.