Consortium Includes Boeing’s Major Airframe Partners, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Boeing and its three major Japanese airframe partners – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries – announced Friday that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Institute of Industrial Science (IIS), the University of Tokyo. Under the MOU, the parties will commence joint research and work to create a consortium to develop industrial-scale manufacturing technology and processes, in a new model of academic-industry cooperation.
Efforts initially will focus on the development of machining and drilling process technology for titanium, aluminum and composite materials. The parties’ aim is to form a consortium for manufacturing innovation within IIS to tackle manufacturing issues common across different industries in current and future production.
The cooperation builds on the research capabilities of IIS, the expertise of the industrial partners in aerospace manufacturing and the desire by all to enhance the skills and capabilities of Japanese industry.
While partner financial investments and management details have yet to be fully developed, the intent is for an initial commitment of five years, with industrial members financially supporting the research, in addition to competing for government grant opportunities.
The detailed research agenda will be developed jointly by IIS and the industrial members to address critical manufacturing issues. Development work will be led by IIS professors and carried out by its technical staff. Members from industry also will contribute and assist on research projects.
While Boeing, MHI, KHI and FHI will comprise the initial industrial membership, the intent is to encourage participation from a broad spectrum of manufacturing sectors.