Boeing Set to Begin Joint Manufacturing Research in Japan

Boeing and three of its major Japanese airframe partners – Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries have announced today that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the IIS (Institute of Industrial Science), the University of Tokyo to start a joint research and work consortium to develop industrial scale manufacturing processes and technology in a new academic industrial cooperation.

Efforts will initially focus on the development of machining and drilling process technology for titanium, aluminium 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.

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 sectors.

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