from TUFNOL Composites Ltd
25 July 2009
TUFNOL COMPOSITES GOES FOR GROWTH ....
Tufnol Composites is pleased to announce it has acquired the Birmingham-based business, Commercial Bearings.
Commercial Bearings was established in 1964 and specialises in producing a variety of precision and semi-precision bearings and high quality turned parts. Previously a member of the Metalrax group of Companies, Commercial Bearings has a strong track record in supplying bearings, turned parts, conveyors, mechanical handling and engineering solutions to a variety of industries worldwide.
Having acquired another well-known bearing company 'Countrose Bearings' some years ago, this latest strategic acquisition further enhances Tufnol Composites’ capability and expertise in the bearings market sector and, at the same time, increases the Company’s capacity in machined components.
Roy Thomason, MD of Tufnol Composites said:
"This acquisition strengthens our business as we seek to enhance our offering in machined components and it also opens up new opportunities in the energetic bearings market. We are pleased to welcome the Commercial Bearings team and look forward to working with them”
Jerome Bouvier, MD at Commercial Bearings added:
“The ‘Tufnol’ and ‘Countrose’ trade names are recognised and well respected around the world. This acquisition will not only present new opportunities for growth but it will allow us to benefit from much needed focus and investment in our activities. Despite these challenging times both Companies have strong order books and I am very optimistic about the future”
The new trading style will be, Commercial Bearings and Handling Solutions – a Division of Tufnol
Extract from Midland Aerospace Alliance “AIM quarterly newsletter” Issue 18, Spring 2009.
SC21 PAYS OFF IN BUSINESS SUCCESS FOR TUFNOL COMPOSITES
The SC21 journey has paid off for Tufnol Composites of Birmingham. After achieving AS9100 accreditation, the company has retained and secured new orders to supply a number of primes and tier 1 suppliers.
In early 2008, Tufnol became part of a Midlands SC21 aerospace cluster led by Gardner Aerospace and GKN Aerospace, and funded by the West Midlands Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS-WM) as a pilot, prior to kick-off of the main funding support.
Over the next four months, the company undertook SC21 diagnostics with specialist consultancy TEC Concepts. This exercise identified areas for business improvement, which Tufnol pursued with the help of additional SC21 funding.
Many aspects of the SC21 phase 1, 2 and3 journey were focussed on training, awareness and implementation of practical solutions with the shop floor manufacturing teams. While these have helped transform the workforce’s understanding of their processes and priorities, key customer GKN has provided clear voice of the customer (VOC) input.
As part of the ongoing support to Tufnol, customer on-time, in-full (OTIF) delivery performance for min/max stock composites frames have been monitored weekly. Despite GKN ramping up purchased quantities and various part specific improvement activities, Tufnol achieved an 88% OTIF performance over three months.
This has enabled Tufnol to consider an SC21 exposition submission for Bronze recognition next year.
Reproduced by kind permission of Midlands Aerospace Alliance, which supports and represents the aerospace industry across the Midlands region of Britain. www.midlandsaerospace.org.uk
Tufnol has been a member of the MAA since its formation in 2003.
For details fo the SBAC SC21 programme, see news item "TUFNOL COMPOSITES BECOMES A SIGNATORY TO SC21" below.
80 YEARS OF ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE
Tufnol Composites - the leading UK manufacturer, machinist and stockist of high performance laminates, composites and engineering plastics is celebrating 80 years of continuous manufacturing of the globally recognised TUFNOL laminate range at its Perry Barr, Birmingham site.
It was back in the early 1920’s that George Ellison, founder of the famous switchgear and control gear firm, issued a brief to his research chemists to develop a superior insulating material for use in the Company’s switchgear production. Ultimately to be called Kite Brand Tufnol, a newly developed material was born in the Company’s laboratory, which utilised resin-impregnated paper that was then moulded under heat and pressure. Initially the paper based laminate was produced for internal consumption only, but it was not long before demand from outside the Company reached such a level that greater production space became essential. In 1929, a purpose-built factory was opened accommodating specially designed and improved plant to cater for the expanding market.
Since those early years, new base materials have been continuously introduced right up to the present day, to include various grades of paper, cotton cloth, polyester, advanced woven glass fabrics and high performance materials such as carbon fibre and Kevlar. When combined with our very own advanced resin formulations, TUFNOL laminates very often possess unrivalled properties in a wide variety of applications.
In 1929 it would have been hard to imagine that the 21st century would still see Tufnol as the material of choice in the latest advanced engineering applications.
TUFNOL SECURES A MAJOR GRANT FOR DEVELOPMENT FROM AWM
“Advantage West Midlands”, the Regional Development Agency for the UK West Midlands, have agreed to provide Tufnol Composites Ltd with a substantial investment grant to enable Tufnol to carry out a major programme of development.
The plans submitted to AWM include investments to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact, in addition to providing high performance computer controlled machining and inspection equipment.
With this Selective Finance for Investment (SFI) grant of £400,000, Tufnol plans involve a £1.6 million capital investment programme over 18 months, which will help to secure more than 60 jobs in the Perry Barr area of Birmingham.
Tufnol has seen steady improvement since it was bought-out by managers four years ago. This represents a major step forward and will help Tufnol to secure its future in increasingly competitive and technically demanding markets.
TUFNOL COMPOSITES BECOMES A SIGNATORY TO SC21
Tufnol Composites Ltd has signed up to join the SC21 programme recently introduced by the Society of British Aircraft Companies (SBAC). As a key part of the aerospace manufacturing supply chain, TUFNOL were invited to join by two major aircraft industry manufacturers, GKN Aerospace and Gardner Aerospace. This important new initiative is intended to promote world-class business excellence in the British aerospace industry and Tufnol is delighted to join at this early stage. So far, barely 300 companies of all sizes across the UK have signed up.
The SC21 programme – “Supply Chains for the 21st Century” – was first announced by the SBAC at the 2006 Farnborough Air Show. It aims to accelerate the competitiveness of the aerospace and defence industry. With international competition increasing, the participation of companies of all sizes throughout the UK supply chain is crucial to delivering real results from this modernisation programme.
All SC21 signatory companies are fully committed to building a strong, customer focussed working culture. Key objectives are:
• focusing on quality accreditation, development and performance and
• building supply chain relationships to improve efficiency, lean practices and costs.
For more information on SC21, please click here.
TUFNOL LAMINATE CABLE AND HARNESS CLAMPS INCREASE SAFETY IN MASS TRANSIT APPLICATIONS
Tufnol Composites - the leading UK manufacturer, machinist and stockist of high performance laminates, composites and engineering plastics - has secured orders to supply a series of electric cable and harness clamps and a variety of other critical components machined from its Grade 10G/24, for mass transit customers such as Bombardier, Alstom and London Underground.
Tufnol Grade 10G/24 is a high strength phenolic resin glass fabric laminate that has excellent low smoke and toxicity characteristics, good electrical insulation properties and proven resistance to harsh working environments.
The specially formulated phenolic resin of Grade 10G/24 gives exceptional performance in fire tests and far exceeds the properties of standard phenolic materials.The tests revealed controlled flammability, good resistance to ignition and excellent low smoke and toxicity values.
The Tufnol machined cable and harness clamps are used in a variety of rail vehicle applications from light rail vehicles to locomotives and high speed trains and in the majority of cases are for under vehicle fixings.
The characteristics of this LFH (low fire hazard) phenolic grade are even more important now that underground safety standards have been dramatically increased following recent tragedies.
The low smoke performance of Tufnol Grade 10G/24 is vitally important for applications in tunnels, underground facilities, offshore platforms and other situations where fire safety is of particular concern.
TUFNOL COMPOSITES 'PARTNERS' STARCHASER SPACE PROGRAMME
Tufnol Composites Limited of Birmingham - the leading UK manufacturer, machinist and stockist of high performance laminates, composites and engineering plastics - has entered into a partnership agreement with Starchaser Industries to supply materials for the construction of space products.
Starchaser Industries is an international, privately held company that specialises in the development, operation and commercialisation of space products and services. Starchaser technology enables new space related business opportunities by providing safe, reliable, affordable and reusable access to space for both space tourism and micro-satellite launch markets.
"Tufnol Composites is proud of our partnership with the Starchaser programme" said Richard Godwin, Business Development Director. "We have worked with Steve Bennett , CEO of Starchaser Industries and his team over a number of years. We are obviously delighted that our materials have proved their high performance characteristics over many projects"
Tufnol epoxy glass tube was used for the construction of the early Nova/Starchaser 4 reusable rockets and epoxy glass sheets have been subsequently used for part of the main structure of the Thunderstar capsule.
Visit www.starchaser.co.uk to find out more about Starchaser Commercial Space Access.
GLOBAL AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY RECOGNITION FOR
TUFNOL COMPOSITES WITH CERTIFICATION TO AS 9100
AEROSPACE QUALITY STANDARD
Tufnol Composites Limited of Birmingham – the leading UK manufacturer, machinist and stockist of high performance laminates, composites and engineering plastics - has joined the ranks of a limited number of organisations to have achieved AS 9100 certification, as assessed by BSI Quality Management Systems.
AS 9100 is the quality management standard specifically written for the aerospace industry and is considered to be of vital importance for suppliers to organisations such as Airbus, GKN Aerospace, BAE Systems, Boeing and Rolls Royce.
“Tufnol Composites is very much aware of the benefits that are derived from being an AS 9100 certified company” said Roy Thomason, Managing Director. “We are a medium sized company supplying the giants of the aviation world and we considered it essential that our quality management systems were formally recognised to a level that would be acknowledged by our key global customers. The management team and all the employees of the company are proud of our AS 9100 certificate achievement”.
BSI Team Manager, Mark West visited the company to present the AS 9100 certificate to Harry Singh, Technical /QA Manager and Roy Thomason, Managing Director. Local MP Khalid Mahmood was also present to congratulate the Tufnol Composites’ team on their achievement.
Photo (left to right)
Roy Thomason (Tufnol Composites Managing Director), Harry Singh (Tufnol Composites Technical/QA Manager), Mark West (BSI Team Manager) and Khalid Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Perry Barr.
Previous announcements from Tufnol Composites Ltd:-
HIGH PERFORMANCE POLYIMIDE GLASS FABRIC LAMINATE FROM TUFNOL OFFERS EXCEPTIONAL PROPERTIES AT ELEVATED TEMPERATURES
Tufnol Composites' Grade 6G/92 is a high strength resin bonded glass fabric laminate specifically formulated for applications requiring exceptional mechanical and insulation properties at elevated temperatures. More . . .
EXPERIENCED SALES ENGINEER TERRY BETTRIDGE JOINS TUFNOL COMPOSITES
Tufnol Composites - the UK's leading manufacturer and distributor of high performance laminates, composite materials and engineering plastics components has appointed Terry Bettridge to the position of Sales Engineer to cover the Eastern territory of the United Kingdom. More . . .
NEW LAMINATE GRADE WITH ENHANCED THERMAL STABILITY FROM TUFNOL COMPOSITES
Tufnol Composites - the leading UK manufacturer and machinist of high performance engineering laminates and composite materials - has launched a new epoxy glass fabric laminate. More . . .
TUFNOL COMPOSITES PROMOTES JOHN ARMITAGE TO NATIONAL SALES MANAGER
Tufnol Composites - the leading UK manufacturer, stockist and machinists of high performance engineering plastics and composites, laminates and glass reinforced profiles, has promoted John Armitage to the position of National Sales Manager. More . . .
Tufnol Composites Ltd.
Quality Registration BS EN ISO 9001:2000, BS EN 9100:2003 and AS 9100 Reg. No. FM 90942
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