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Investments in our MRO-business

Investments in our MRO-business

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since our last update which is a result of us being occupied with our rotations and a project which all 5 of us conduct together. It really feels like we can see the light in the end of the tunnel with summer approaching and that we are in the final stretch of the pandemic situation. Something that we feel is being reflected on the company as well.

A great indication of this is the current investments being done on our site here in Trollhättan. A couple weeks back, we announced the plans to build a new workshop where component repairs will be performed. As our products are manufactured with expensive and advanced materials, such as titanium and super alloys, maximizing the utilization and extending the lifecycle is important to reduce material consumption.
This is completely in line with our desire to make aviation more sustainable for the future. Repairs are also less expensive than replacing the parts and hence will this workshop also lead to cost reductions for our end customers and enable us to improve and strengthen our position within additive manufacturing and advanced repair methods, a win-win situation!

I’m excited to see the development of this new workshop and how it can contribute to increased employment and business opportunities! You can read more (in Swedish) here.

For my own part, I started my new rotation on Strategy & Business Innovation after the Easter holidays. As my previous rotations has been within the Engineering organization, this is something completely new for me and that is one of the benefits about being a trainee, you get the freedom to try new disciplines and expand your professional network.
More specific, I am working with continued development of an estimation model for the aerospace aftermarket including maintenance, repair and overhaul. This is an important part of our current and future business, something that is evident in regards to the site expansion I mentioned in the beginning of the post.

I hope you’re all doing well and I’d also like to congratulate all of the students that have written their master theses at GKN Aerospace during the last couple of months. The presentations are ongoing and within a couple weeks they will all be graduating from their universities.

Until next time,
Jens

MRO Military & Space

MRO Military & Space

Hi all!

It is a couple of weeks since you heard from me the last time here at the blog. I have just completed an exciting and intensive rotation at supply chain for military and space, which I had the great pleasure to work on together with my graduate colleague My.

As you have seen in our earlier posts, the first months of this year been quite full of tasks not related to our rotations. We have participated in multiple student fairs at the biggest technical universities in Sweden, done company presentations and taken part in the try outs for this year’s graduate group. In addition to this, we had our first “global” development week in the beginning of March. Even if our group is not global at all, since the five of us in Sweden were the only ones recruited to the graduate scheme last year at GKN Aerospace. Due to this there were a couple of other employees from England, Netherlands and Romania invited to participate in the development week. The development week was very successful and appreciated by us graduates.

The main assignment that My and I worked on during our rotation was to investigate the possibilities to implement a digital visualization of the MRO workshop at the Trollhättan site. This type of digital visualization already exists for the civil production, and it is used to give personnel a quick overview of the status of the production flows during the 24h pulse and planning meetings.     

The first weeks of the rotation were mainly spent on learning how the different service flows for the RM12 engine are structured and also learning how the existing visualization function. The information we gathered were then used to identify in which areas, either the visualization or the way of working, needed to be changed in order to make them compatible with each other.

The challenge with MRO flows is that each and every engine part that enters the workshop is unique, unlike in production where every part goes through the same series of operations. To cope with the uniqueness of the different parts that enters the MRO flow requires flexibility. Flexibility is unfortunately not something that is easy to incorporate in a fully automatic visualization.  

The solution that our investigation resulted in was a compromise where both the way of working and the visualization had to go through a couple of changes. The results from the investigation led to a pilot project being started to test the new form of visualization. The both of us worked a lot with this pilot project as well since it was a very natural step to take after the investigation were finalized.

This was a short summary of what I did during my last rotation, during the next rotation will I work at Programs towards General Electric, which will be interesting and completely different from what I have done during my first two rotations.

Best,

Marcus

Time for placement update!

Time for placement update!

Hello!

I hope you all are staying safe out there! I believe I speak for most of us when I say I am more than ready for this to be over so we can all return to work at our awesome site.  

This week the annual event of selecting new graduates here in Sweden took place and it is safe to say that all of us soon to be old graduates got a real reality check on how fast time surpass here at GKN. I mean it has already been a year since we were sitting on the opposite side of the table ourselves. Anyway, it was a lot of fun being a part of all the events and meeting the candidates for the upcoming graduate scheme.

Since last time I was here a lot has happened in my personal journey within the graduate program. Just after the Christmas holidays I jumped from the quality department to project management of NPIs (New Product Introductions). Already from early days this was a rotation I knew I wanted to do. I believe that being a part of this “grey zone” when everything is still uncertain is the best place for learning. In combination with all the different functions and people you meet on a daily basis it seemed like a great opportunity for me.

My rotation itself is sort of split into two parts. One where I am working on a project to see how we can enhance learning in the project management process. The project will seek to see whether there is another way that we can identify, document, and reusage knowledge within and between projects. The other part of my rotation is to be involved and support with different tasks in an ongoing NPI project. The NPI project is a fabricated fan case mount ring which will be included in Pratt & Whitney’s PW1000 engine family (see picture). Perhaps a fan case mount ring doesn’t sound too exciting but when it involves additive manufacturing I believe everything gets exciting. My tasks have been aligned with my interest in the field of quality as I have been driving the work for the PFMEA (process failure modes & effects analysis) which essentially is a preventive risk analysis to detect risks before they occur.

That was all until next time. In the meantime, take care!

// Robin

Digital Fairs & Lectures

Digital Fairs & Lectures

Hello everyone!

The snow has melted away here in Trollhättan and one can perhaps expect (hopefully!) the spring to arrive soon! We, the graduates, are in a relatively busy period with both common and individual projects happening at the same time. In addition to that some us are appointed to other projects not related to our rotations or the trainee group itself.

As we say in every new blog post, time really flies and it’s already time for us to start thinking about our next rotation as the current one will be finished before the Easter holidays. Both my previous and current rotation is focused towards calculations and analysis I will probably look into learning more about market & strategy in my next rotation. That’s the strength of the trainee program, being able to discover and learn about something completely new.

We’ve also started our shared trainee project which will go on for about 6 months. Our mission is to investigate different solutions for an automated composite manufacturing system. This is being done at Centre of Production Technology which is located at Innovatum in Trollhättan.  This is where GKN Aerospace and University West alongside other companies perform research on additive manufacturing and industrial automation. A short presentation video, although in Swedish, can be viewed below.

Normally, the trainees attend different career fairs and hold lectures on both universities and high schools. However, due to obvious reasons regarding the pandemic, these fairs and lectures are replaced this year by digital versions. The last couple weeks we’ve attended digital career fairs on Chalmers, Luleå University, Linköping University and Karlstads University which was a first for most of us. These career fairs were very successful and exceeded our expectations even if we’d all like to be onsite and meet people face-to-face!

Marcus in the recording studio

Due to the same reason we haven’t been able to visit high schools to have inspirational lectures. But I, Emma and Marcus recorded a lecture last week which was targeted towards high school students graduating this year. We presented the company and shared our thoughts regarding university studies. Even though it felt a little unusual to stand before a camera in a studio environment it is these assignments that make the graduate program so fun and diverse!

I hope you all have a nice weekend!

Jens

Sustainability at GKN

Sustainability at GKN

Some time ago all graduates took part in a sustainability workshop hosted by the man in the picture, Zakir Hussain. The session turned out to be very inspiring and informative regarding GKN’s sustainability vision. We thought, who else than the host himself would be an ideal person to inspire a couple more. So, with us today we have Zakir Hussain talking about his own journey and why sustainability is important to him and GKN.

Hi my name is Zakir Hussain, a Global Grad from the UK. I joined the organisation in September of 2019 fresh out of university, where I studied Chemical Engineering. During my studies, I never thought I would be joining the Aerospace industry. However, when I attended my interview, I felt “this is a place I would see myself growing and developing in. GKN’s community seem to really care about who I am rather than focusing on what I am”. So I took the leap of faith and haven’t looked back since!

At GKN I have been given some really great opportunities to work on projects which are really significant. Such as, designing and implementing an Automated Defect Reporting System which combined tools from Lean Six Sigma and Industry 4.0, market analysis on Horizon 3 technologies for new business opportunities and to lead GKN’s Energy, Waste & Emissions Workstream for creating the Sustainability Strategy to help the organisation improve on its global sustainability. I have had real control over how much responsibility I would like as well as being able to pave my own career path. Moreover, I have had great opportunities to work and collaborate with seniors within the organisation very early on, such as The Director of Sustainability and The Vice President of Global Manufacturing Engineering Capability. For those who are considering GKN, I would say, ultimately you are really in control of the how, who and when elements of making your career fly!

There is a great support network here at GKN, ranging from mentors, coaches and buddies. These parties will look to support and guide you the best way they can, ranging from giving advice based on their personal experience good or bad to coaching you through how to find the answer and putting you in contact with parties whom may have the answer. In addition to this, in line with GKN’s principle of “Open and Honest” there is a real sense of comfort when seeking out support and help from all parties.

One key area of interest I have is Sustainability. Sustainability has been close to my heart for a large part of my life, during my university education I had a great deal of exposure to the issues, we as a race, are facing today which will be further exacerbated for future generations. I strongly believe as an engineer, there is an obligation to ensure society’s needs are being met in a sustainable way to not hinder future generations from meeting their needs.

Sustainability has become a real focus for GKN Aerospace in the past year. Being a Tier 1 company, GKN has a real opportunity to leverage its position in improving its own sustainability as well as its suppliers and customers. At the end of 2020, a new energy contract was signed, for all the Dutch sites to use 100% renewable electricity. This resulted in GKN reducing its global GHG emissions by 8-11% on a yearly bases. Moreover, to increase awareness and knowledge of the topic, I am leading a team where we are creating an e-learning module for our Manufacturing Engineers which will be rolled out and used globally. So far, from our beta-version, we have seen an increase in awareness and knowledge by 36%!

Thank you for taking the time to read what is ultimately, a testimony that GKN Aerospace is a great place to work.

Thank you,

Zakir Hussain

A Proud Graduate

Working Globally

Working Globally

Hi all!

January has officially ended and believe it or not but almost half of our second rotation has passed. I decided to spend my second rotation at the Programme department where they handle, among other things, customer demand and customer agreements, both the establishment of new ones and compliance with already existing agreements. The department is divided into several teams where employees are stationed at different sites around the world. Each team is responsible for specific customers and so-called engine programs and by engine program I mean the type of aircraft engine that GKN Aerospace is involved in.

I have so far worked on a few smaller projects where I have looked at the demand planning process, trying to find more efficient ways to communicate customer demand within the organization. I am also involved in a larger global project where the goal is to create a standardized demand planning process. The projects I have worked on so far have required almost daily contact with our colleagues around the world, which has been very exciting.

Before I end this post I would like to remind you that the application for the graduate program of 2021 is still open. Click here to access the application.

That was all from me, stay safe!

/ Emma

New year, new rotations!

New year, new rotations!

Hello everyone! We can finally put 2020 behind us and look forward to a better year, which I am sure many of us have been doing for quite some time. I hope that this year we will be able to recover back to the old normal. Starting on the good news, the application process is open and will remain so until February 21! Apply to the graduate programme here!

We have also ended our first rotations and when returning to work after the holidays we have started our new ones. This is of course very special considering we all work from home but as time goes it feel more and more like the new normal. However, I personally look forward to the day where we can go back to the office!

At my new department, we are working with performance and control systems primarily for the RM12/RM16 engine in the Gripen fighter. Responsibilities include the FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) which is the computer for the RM12 engine that was developed in Trollhättan during the late 1090’s. My project however involves updating a performance model for the industrial gas turbine DR990 which suits me well with an aeronautical engineer background as gas turbines are very similar to aircraft jet engines.

DR990 is an industrial gas turbine in a two-shaft configuration. It consists of two centrifugal compressors with two turbine stages on the first shaft and finally a power turbine on a separate shaft. It was initially planned for usage in U.S. Navy patrol boats in the 1970s but was later reconfigured to an industrial application. It is mainly used today for pumping of natural gas.

History – The troll that could fly

History – The troll that could fly

Towpilot, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons
Saab 91C Safir – Towpilot CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

B42 “Trollet”

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.

IKV 103 – Picture by Rickard O. Lindström

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!

Thesis work at GKN Aerospace

Thesis work at GKN Aerospace

Hi there all readers!

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 aerotrainees@gknaerospace.com.

I hope to see you here in the spring!
Have a nice week,
My

Engine programs & Solid mechanics

Engine programs & Solid mechanics

Civila Motorkomponenter

Hello everyone!

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!

Until then, take care!

Jens