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Wing Structures Training at GKN Aerospace

07 November 2010

Dark Matter Composites has successfully rolled out training courses to support GKN Aerospaces composite aircraft wing structures production which is set to commence next year at the companys newly constructed manufacturing facility at Western Approach, Bristol, UK.

The contract covers the provision of a 5 day intensive training course based on Dark Matter Composites training format, combining theory, demonstrations, practical tasks and assessments. The course is integrated into the complete GKN Aerospace training activity for all composite production personnel.

Charles Paterson, General Manager, GKN Aerospace, FIlton explains: This course provides us with a core element in the broad programme of training and investment in our team. It will create a consistent foundation, ensuring our personnel have the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to apply the leading edge manufacturing technologies we are employing. By the end of this year five courses will have been delivered to a total of forty individuals. During 2011 we plan to continue with a further twelve courses.

Dark Matter Composites have been responsible for developing all technical course content to UK Qualification, Certification & Development Agency standards (QCDA) combining presentation materials, tutor notes, lesson plans, practical tasks, assessment tasks and criteria to create a structured course format. The activity has also included the training and development of GKN Aerospaces in-house tutors. Technical course content is complemented by Dark Matter Composites design, manufacture and supply of mould tooling to support the course practical tasks and help highlight technical and key production process issues. GKN Aerospace also made investment in an in-house composite training facility. This has involved the installation of a full set of Dark Matter Composites point of use fume and dust extraction benches and progressive refining of the facility over a number of courses.

GKN Aerospace personnel complete the course in the companys Filton-based composite training department with composites experts from both Dark Matter Composites and from GKN Aerospace delivering key theory and practical activities associated with prepreg processing for manual and automated fibre placement technologies, and with the complete composite rear spar production process.

Rodney Hansen, Managing Director, Dark Matter Composites Ltd explains: GKN Aerospace has invested in a full course package which represents one of the most advanced, high end composite training courses available. The course focuses on the processes associated with primary aircraft structures, particularly the composite rear spars. We have always recommended that a programme of this nature should have its own in-house training resource. Our expertise and capability has provided GKN Aerospace with a one stop solution that is second to none. By the end of 2010, our tutors will have handed over the full delivery of the course to GKN Aerospaces trainers.






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