Rolls-Royce and Unipart, the manufacturing, logistics and consultancy group, have announced their intention to form a joint venture company that will help manufacturers bring their products to market faster.
The joint venture, called MetLase, will initially create some 30 high-end, technical engineering jobs at its new headquarters on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham. It will use technology initially developed by Rolls-Royce to support a wide range of new customers from different business sectors.
Manufacturers need expensive and often complex suites of tooling to help create finished products. But current methods of tooling development and manufacture can often take weeks or months, slowing down the time to get the finished product to market.
The technology licensed to Metlase which uses lasers and patented joining techniques, will enable the rapid creation of innovative and cost-effective tooling products and solutions which will improve productivity for its customers. The application of this technology saves time and will enable products to be brought to market more quickly and at lower total cost.
The joint venture will focus initially on opportunities in the aerospace, automotive, motorsport and medical industries.
Hamid Mughal, Director of Manufacturing, Rolls-Royce, said: “We view this joint venture as an excellent opportunity to partner with a well-established cross-sector partner with complementary capabilities. This will help greatly to accelerate the development of the MetLase technology and to increase its use across a broader range of applications and products.”
Unipart Chairman and Chief Executive, John Neill, said: “We’re very pleased to be taking this important step with Rolls-Royce. Productivity is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK, today and the automotive industry and the aerospace industry are seen as leaders.
“According to the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England the prize for the British economy if productivity in the UK economy as a whole had grown in the same way as the car industry could be £1/2 trillion.This planned joint venture is a practical example of the way in which the aerospace industry and the automotive industry can combine their technical and operational excellence skills to enable their customers to improve their productivity. ”