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A*Star, Rolls-Royce pump additional S$8m into joint lab

ROLLS-ROYCE and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star) announced on Friday that they are investing an additional S$8 million into their joint lab with Singapore Aero Engine Services (SAESL).

This new injection brings the total investment into the five-year collaboration to S$69 million, and will fund a sixth work stream focused on developing advanced maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) technologies for repairing high-value engine components.

As with the initial investment in 2017, the funds will be used to develop technology solutions in A*Star’s Advanced Remanufacturing and Technology Centre (ARTC) for problem statements from Rolls-Royce and SAESL. The five original work streams in the first phase were focused on smart assembly systems, integrated remanufacturing technologies, advanced fan blade manufacturing, future manufacturing processes and knowledge-based manufacturing.

Since 2017, the joint lab has started nearly 30 projects within these work streams and implemented two of them in Rolls-Royce's Singapore facilities.

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"Based on the success of this first phase, Rolls-Royce has decided to invest more in a sixth area of advanced maintenance, repair and overhaul," said David Low, chief executive officer of ARTC.

"Singapore is the largest aerospace MRO hub in Asia, so this is very important. The idea is that while the research is being done here (at ARTC) with Rolls-Royce, the recipient is SAESL as an overhaul facility."

Said Bicky Bhangu, Rolls-Royce president for South-east Asia, Pacific and South Korea: "When we first started the programme, it was really focused on automation and digital technologies. As we progressed, we have realised that these technologies and solutions that we're developing are not just suitable for original equipment manufacturing, but they're also suitable for MRO.

"Bringing SAESL into this picture has been absolutely key, so we can develop once and deploy across the value chain of aerospace, from assembly and testing to MRO."