Nov 9, 2020

Rolls-Royce ─ Leading the Charge in Jet Engine Technology

Technology
Sustainability
CO2 emissions
Rolls-Royce
Sam Scane
2 min
Rolls-Royce will soon be using robotics to fix jets on the go, revolutionising aviation and cutting down on carbon emissions...

Established in 1904, Rolls-Royce has been a key player in the manufacturing of automobiles and power systems for aviation. It currently ranks as the second-largest maker of aircraft engines, after General Electric, and has recently announced its investment in a new program of technology that seeks to recycle rather than scrap used plane parts. 

Working with the Government-backed Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), the deal will see its engineers working on 20 different technologies designed to cut airline disruption, potentially setting the groundwork for different technological advancements, with lessening environmental deterioration at its centre. 

Technologically Saving the Planet

Dr Ian Mitchell, Chief of Technology, Repair and Services, Rolls-Royce, said: “This programme will take that one step further by improving how we service our engines, creating technologies which will reduce waste, avoid emissions and minimise disruption while laying the foundations to service the gas turbine and hybrid-electric engines of the future.”

The technology could include, but is not limited to; 

  • High-tech cameras and algorithms that could help identify damage to components. 
  • Snake robots that can travel inside engines and perform repairs on complex parts.
  • Inspection and analysis tools to inspect deep-rooted parts during a repair operation. 
  • Advanced repair tools for parts that currently can only be scrapped.

Rolls-Royce also says that their new technologies have the potential to reduce CO2 emissions on a yearly basis by maintaining flight times, reducing scrappage and the wastage of parts, as well as developing technology for cleaner engines, advancing electric and fan technology and reducing engine weights. 

Business and Industry Minister Nadhim Zahawi backing the plans said: “Our aerospace industry is leading the way in developing new technology to make air travel greener, backed by Government investment to spearhead new innovations. I am excited to see one of these projects go live today, which will see Rolls-Royce developing technologies to potentially slash thousands of tonnes of CO2 per year – a fantastic example of how the industry can help us make strides towards our wider net-zero ambitions.”

With more companies and governments alike embracing the need to reduce carbon emissions across the globe, it’s clear to see that this push toward a greener, more sustainable world is fully coming together. 

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Jun 8, 2021

IMF: Variants Can Still Hurt Manufacturing Recovery

IMF
Manufacturing
COVID19
Musk
Elise Leise
3 min
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) claims that while markets are rising and manufacturing is coming back, it’ll push for global immunisation

After a year of on-and-off manufacturing in the US, UK, and the eurozone, demand for goods surged early last week. Factories set growth records in April and May, suppliers started to recover, and US crude hit its highest price point since pre-COVID. As vaccination efforts immunise much of the US and UK populations, manufacturers are now able to fully ramp up their supply chains. In fact, GDP growth could approach double-digits by 2022

Now, the ISM productivity measure has surpassed the 50-point mark that separates industry expansion from contraction. Since U.S. president Biden passed his US$1.9tn stimulus package and the UK purchasing managers index (PMI) increased to 65.6, both sides of the Atlantic are facing a much-welcomed manufacturing recovery. 

Lingering Concerns Over COVID

Even as Spain, France, Italy, and Germany race to catch up, and mining companies pushed the FTSE 100 index of list shares to a monthly high of 7,129, some say that UK and US markets still suffer from a lack of confidence in raw material supplies. Yes, the Dow Jones has made up its 19,173-point crash of March 2020, and MSCI’s global stock index is at an all-time high. 

Yet manufacturers around the world realise that these wins will be short-lived until pandemic supply chain bottlenecks are solved. If we keep the status quo, consumers will pay the price. In April, inflation in Germany reached 2.4%, and across the EU’s 19 member countries, overall prices have increased at an unusual pace. Some ask: Is this true recovery? 

IMF: Current Boom Could Falter

Even as Elon Musk tweeted about chip shortages forcing Tesla to raise its prices, UK mining demand skyrocketed; housing markets lifted; and the pound sterling gained value. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), however, cautioned that manufacturing recovery won’t last long if COVID mutates into forms our vaccinations can’t touch. Kristalina Georgieva, Washington’s IMF director, noted that fewer than 1% of African citizens have been vaccinated: “Worldwide access to vaccines offers the best hope for stopping the coronavirus pandemic, saving lives, and securing a broad-based economic recovery”. 

Across the globe, manufacturing companies are keeping a watchful eye on new developments in the spread of COVID. Though US FDA officials don’t think we’ll have to “start at square one” with new vaccines, the March 2021 World Economic Outlook states that “high uncertainty” surrounds the projected 6% global growth. Continued manufacturing success will in large part depend on “the path of the pandemic, the effectiveness of policy support, and the evolution of financial conditions”. 

Mathias Cormann, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concurred—without global immunisation, the estimated economic boom expected by 2025 could go kaput. “We need to...pursue an all-out effort to reach the entire world population”, Australia’s finance minister added. US$50bn to end COVID across the world, they imply, is a small investment to restart our economies.

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