Uploaded 16 Mar @ 15:34pm
While there is a drive to reduce the cost of composite components to harness the benefits of these advanced materials across a wider range of industry sectors, CP Composites has set its stall out to support the demand from customers for very high quality, high performance parts. A niche that the company has focused on since it was established, as M&MT finds out.
Based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire,
CP Composites operates from a 27,000 ft2
facility equipped with high quality composite production equipment and is staffed by knowledgeable and experienced staff. A number of key capital equipment investments have recently been made to increase capacity and offer a broader service to a customer base that demands the very best, such as motorsports, automotive, medical, marine, sports and leisure.
Among the new plant and equipment is a stainless steel Vixen Aquablast 915 wet blasting machine designed to ensure a superior finish at the end of the blasting process, giving an alternative to dry blasting in a dust-free process with a softer surface finish that in cosmetic applications, keeps components cleaner for longer.
The new degreasing and surface preparation system allows CP Composites to offer a process service that its customers would normally do in-house. Existing customers know they can rely on the company to supply composite components fully prepared, so they can be used more efficiently. Customers can also use this capability as a contracted service.
Elsewhere, an engineering room has been established with a small CNC milling machine and a lathe, allowing CP Composites to produce bespoke parts such as threaded inserts, location pins and ancillary tooling elements. Previously these parts would be bought in, now the control over the quality and supply of these precision parts stays within the company’s grasp.
The very latest investment centres on a purpose-built modular building that will provide a second clean room which offers an additional 450 ft2 of project-specific capacity. The 13 benches in the existing clean room were being used to capacity, so the new facility will be immediately pressed into service.
A large capacity industrial freezer holds material stock ready for processing. The freezer is equipped with dual compressors and an advanced monitoring system that tracks temperature variations and sends SMS alerts to key staff if any deviations occur.
Aiding the laminators in the clean rooms to work as efficiently as possible CP Composites uses a sophisticated scheduling system that sees the kit cutting machine produce all the elements required for each build several hours ahead ready for layup.
Of course, all these impressive facilities are only as good as the people using them. Fortunately, CP Composites has a team of well-trained and experienced staff. A core of 18 staff, including five apprentices that have been taken on in the past six months, are further bolstered by specially selected subcontracted skilled resources that must understand and appreciate the company’s commitment to quality and delivery.
Each of the apprentices will follow a training programme that is ‘tried and tested’ by CP Composites. In phases during the training process each of them will spend time within every department to gain a full understanding of how the business works, and importantly how each stage impacts on the next process or operation that ultimately meets the customers delivery and quality expectations, and therefore protects the established reputation of CP Composites. Rather than creating dedicated laminators the company’s plan is to create composite technicians with a rounded knowledge of each and every process required.
As we go to press the company has started to operate around-the-clock with a full nightshift being established to ensure a secure supply of the high-quality components its existing customers have come to expect. It also means any new business opportunities can be approached without affecting existing customers.
Accredited to ISO 9001:2008, and working towards 2015, quality and attention to detail is incorporated throughout the business. From one-off prototypes to multiple production runs, its skilled workforce is focused, flexible, dedicated and has an appreciation for the customers’ confidentiality.
The company has never followed a ‘gung-ho’ approach to meeting the demands of new business, the focus always remains on delivering its promise with integrity and not just growth at any cost. The recent equipment investment levels; the training of new staff, and the philosophy of delivering quality components on time certainly highlights the strengths of CP Composites, and with all that in your arsenal why would you want to deviate off course.
Further reading: www.cpcomposites.co.uk
Ben Hayes – Sales Manager, CWST
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