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Report - - Rolls Royce Aero Engine Controls (Formally Lucas Aerospace Branch Works No. 5) - Acocks Green - Feb 2019 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Rolls Royce Aero Engine Controls (Formally Lucas Aerospace Branch Works No. 5) - Acocks Green - Feb 2019


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Only a small report really, I cant say it was the best explore ever. The place was fairly modernised and with the strip out in progress some areas had been cleaned bare already. That said after coming home and reading up a bit more on the history of the site i wish id had a bit more of a poke around as there were still a few good bits to see and may have been a few more if we had put a bit more effort in.. Still good to finally explore a factory that ive been waiting to close for the past 10 years or so!

This plant was one of the numerous Lucas works in the area. Back in 2007 the 'Branch Works No.3' Alternator factory next door closed and you can find some old reports on here under the name of its final owner 'Denso' There was also a huge Lucas battery factory just round the corner on Formans Road which unfortunately went just a few years too early for us to explore. I also know some of you guys have also explored this factories sister site in York Road, Hall Green but 'apparently' it was to shit to bother taking photos of.. Not really surprising as it was by far the newest and smallest of them all i guess..

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An old image showing what i believe is the original BW5 building on the left with the BW3/4 'Denso' plants on the right

This particular plant was known as Branch Works No.5 or BW5 for short. Its deceptively old being built in 1938 to manufacture parts for WW2 era aircraft. The building has been modernised and extended over the years which masks its true age. The front office block is quite stylish and probably of early 1960s origin and the engineering offices on the western side are late 1960s. The company followed the rest of Lucas being merged with Varity in 1996 and then being sold to TRW a few years later. In 2002 they sold the business off to Goodrich. A bit of complex trading of shares occurred between 2008 and 2012 where the company was called a variety of different things finally coming under the wing of Rolls Royce (their major customer). Rolls has relocated the business to a new purpose built facility in Solihull paving the way for the whole Shaftmoor Lane Lucas site to be redeveloped.

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Construction of the later 'engineering block' in 1966

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What it looks like now.. Ugly!

If you fancy seeing a bit more check out its page on Lucas Memories https://www.lucasmemories.co.uk/site/BW5/index.html Got to love and oldskool website still set up for a 56k modem..

wikipedia said:
The company was originally part of Lucas Industries, responsible for producing fuel systems for aircraft. From 1938 the company produced fueling systems for second world waraircraft.[2] In August 1996 the company was merged, along with the rest of Lucas Industries, with the North American Varity Corporation to form LucasVarity.[3] In 1999 LucasVarity was acquired by TRW for $6.6bn,[4] which sold the Lucas Aerospace section of the company to Goodrich Corporation for $1.5bn in 2002.[5]

In 2008 Rolls-Royce was the second largest producer of aircraft engines worldwide behind General Electric and ahead of Pratt & Whitney. As the focus for engine efficiency shifts towards sophisticated engine control techniques, Rolls-Royce found it could potentially fall behind its competitors as the only one of the three companies to outsource these key components. Rolls-Royce and the Goodrich Corporation saw an opportunity for partnership, combining the existing manufacturing capability of Goodrich with the expertise of Rolls-Royce.

The Rolls-Royce Goodrich engine controls joint venture was announced on 14 August 2008 and agreement between the two companies was made on 22 December 2008 to form 'Rolls-Royce Goodrich Engine Control Systems Limited' with the trading company name of Aero Engine Controls. In the formation of Aero Engine Controls both companies contributed over £14m in assets and cash to the joint venture, with Rolls-Royce making a cash payment to the Goodrich Corporation of $100m.[6]

Following the acquisition of Goodrich by United Technologies Corporation in July 2012, Rolls-Royce announced it would purchase Goodrich's 50% share of Aero Engine Controls.[7]The purchase was completed on 10 December 2012 and Aero Engine Controls became wholly owned by Rolls-Royce Plc and a part of the Rolls-Royce Group.

in 2014 Rolls-Royce announced the merger of two wholly owned subsidiaries, Aero Engine Controls (AEC) and Optimized Systems and Solutions (OSyS), to form a new business, Controls and Data Services (CDS) which would continue to operate as part of the Rolls-Royce Group. The new business would bring together equipment sensors, controls and monitoring systems with performance analysis and health management services, delivering greater asset intelligence at a faster pace.

Controls and Data Services provides to some of the worlds most advanced and efficient engines, both for civil and military application.

Notable aircraft for which Controls and Data Services has provided its key components include but are not exclusive to:

Large Civil
Regionals
Corporates (Businessjets)
Helicopters
Defence
Controls and Data Services provides main and afterburner systems and centrifugal pumping systems for modern military jet engines including:[12]


The company has moved its headquarter to a £75 million purpose built advanced manufacturing and technology facility in Birmingham Business Park. The new 250,000 sq ft building will incorporate technology, design, development, manufacturing and testing capabilities, with associated expansion space.[13] The destination of Controls and Data Services Metropolitan Borough of Solihull has an international reputation for engineering, home to companies such as Arup and Jaguar Land Rover.
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So starting at the front door. The lobby was horribly modernised with only the the original revolving door left..


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Go up to the drawing office, bit late for this bit


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Heres what it should look like tho..


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Heading back along the plant this area of shop floor had been re-purposed for offices.


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The most interesting find up this end was the original 'computer room'


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Im starting to appreciate this kind of thing a lot more now. Note the original IBM and ICL (International Computers Limited) power supply board. There was also a nice fire safe in the wall for storing magnet tapes but sadly the original mainframes themselves were long gone.


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Heading further back we find the manufacturing area, Wasn't much left here.


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Lost of this, empty rooms, modern signs and piles of stripped out junk..


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Further back was the plating department.. unfortunately this was all screwed shut and plastered in warning signs. I guess Cyanide isnt something to mess with.


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Last part was the test halls, these were actually not too bad.


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Lots of kit left behind.


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I can only guess they felt this kit was not worth taking to the new premises


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Lastly a photo of some guys near some similar kit back in the day...


Hopefully thats not wasted too much of your day. Not great but i doubt anyone one else will take photos before it levelled so one day someone might be glad!​
 
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8mm

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
It’s nuts how someone at some point thought it was a good idea to drop in that horrific suspended ceiling in the drawing office. I enjoyed reading that mate. Thanks.
Yep, was probably connected with a bad interpretation of the directives on lighting requirements for VDU use areas I'm afraid. Document says you need CAT2 fittings so they just wacked in the false ceiling to make it a standard "office" environment as they couldn't be bothered to do the calcs to do it any other way.
 

Nismo

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
A lot of the test rigs ended up at UTC in Marston Green, In my old job i used to go there once a year to replace all the hose assemblies that were used with the AVGAS
 

mikeryan

28DL Member
28DL Member
A lot of the test rigs ended up at UTC in Marston Green, In my old job I used to go there once a year to replace all the hose assemblies that were used with the AVGAS
I worked here until the point of it being closed. I was involved in moving a lot of the test rigs to the new building. None of the old one were sent to Marston green. The reason for them being left was due to regulation. If they were installed into the new factory they would have to meet modern standards. the cost of upgrades was more than a new test rig. Its a shame as there were some lovely features in the buildings which were hidden and forgotten. The old Nissen hut was always a feature of the site. where all of the work and foreigners took place. There were some old test houses in the basement also, as well as a huge safe room. one feature of the test houses was a series of drains in the floor so any spilt fuel would drain into underground tanks. these were filled in as the leaks were reported to allowing fuel into the gardens of neighboring properties.

I did take the oppurtunity to look around the denso factory next door before it was demolished. Again lovely deco features all over that were lost under building services. there was a tunnel between the 2 factories that was filled in long before they closed. York rd was the electronics side of the business. It was the old aerial motorcycle works I believe but was only purchased in the 70's/80's. The new factory has no where near the soul of the old factory. One the reasons for moving was a perception of managers that very one was hiding in the nooks and crannies at shaftmoor. this was easily done but a lot of great work happened there too.
 

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