Collins Aerospace is expanding its MRO presence in Singapore, announcing plans to open an "innovation hub" there dedicated to developing advanced maintenance techniques and technologies.

The planned 1,394sq m (15,000sq ft) site at Collins's existing Changi MRO site will be "dedicated to advanced maintenance, repair and overhaul processes and operations, as well as additive manufacturing", the company says.

Collins, a division of United Technologies, plans to hold a groundbreaking ceremony in August and open the new site in the first quarter of 2020.

The company will use the site to advance the state of "digitalisation and automation" in the MRO industry, and to develop "lean manufacturing" MRO techniques.

"The innovation hub demonstrates Collins Aerospace's commitment to developing best practices and a continued effort to digitally transform the aerospace industry," it says.

The site will be Collins's first additive manufacturing (also called 3D printing) facility with capability to produce components from titanium.

"We are focused on parts across a wide spectrum of materials including aluminium, Inconel, titanium, copper, nickel, as well as other special alloys," says Collins executive director of additive design and manufacturing Paula Hay. "It’s a very exciting time for additive technology as it moves out of the research and prototyping realm and into production."

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