23 October 2012
23 October 2012
With the previously forecast expansion in the use of composites materials beginning to have a real impact on the industrial landscape, the Composites Leadership Forum has been formed to deliver the next stage of the UK Composite Strategy; its inaugural meeting was held on 10 October.
Published in 2009, the Strategy set out how the UK should build on the foundations of a successful composites sector in the UK and contribute to economic growth in a rapidly developing global market. Much has been achieved since publication, notably the opening of the National Composites Centre in Bristol in 2011 which provides R&D and manufacturing capability to all UK composites companies. A Technology Strategy Board funded Composites Grand Challenge encouraged development of the UK supply chain and membership of Composites UK, the Industry Trade Association, has doubled in the same time. The Composite Skills Alliance is generating an improved network for the delivery of new skills to meet the needs of changing technologies and supply chains. Further growth now requires coordinated leadership and continued strategic direction.
The Composites Leadership Forum aims to work with key stakeholders, supported by the Government, to map and define UK composites capability and future growth potential. It hopes to provide strategic direction and assist UK industry to meet expanding demand from a wide range of sectors. Representatives from automotive, aerospace, construction, motorsport, education and skills sectors were present at the meeting, with others, including rail, renewables and marine expected to join, SMEs are represented by Composites UK. The Composites Leadership Forum will identify key opportunities and challenges for the greater use of Composites and will produce a joint action plan to address current and future needs in technology, skills, supply chain development and infrastructure to ensure the UK remains competitive.
Utilising this cross sector representation the Composite Leadership Forum will work to benefit the whole UK Composites Industry by ensuring cross sector understanding of shared needs and common actions to enable future growth.
Ceramicx, Ireland, has completed an 1800 m2 expansion to its production facility, doubling capacity for the manufacture of infrared heating equipment for the composites industry.
Solvay has inaugurated a new centre in Wrexham, UK, for manufacturing structural adhesives and surfacing films for the aerospace market.
Saertex is introducing two new products focusing on fire protection.