Norco Ltd have announced the opening of a new composite facility bespoke to Prepreg, Infusion & Epoxy FRP composite structures.
Norco have been supplying Glass Reinforced plastic components and tooling services for over 27 years, up until the opening of the new composites centre this diversification of projects and technologies had been spread across the 4 separate work centres totalling 85,000sqft.
The company said it was becoming harder to manage projects from a skills point of view but also from a quality point of view. Anyone with a background in composite manufacturing will know that laminating decorative carbon prepreg in the immediate vicinity of another operator sanding or hand laminating is not ideal but often inevitable when short of space.
With a growing list of customers in Aerospace, Simulation, Renewable & Communication markets, it became clear a new bespoke facility was required to support this growth whilst at the same time not turning our back on the traditional marine Market that Norco has grown up from to the 130 employees it employs today.
The new 16,000sqft manufacturing facility was constructed in the 4th qtr of 2012 to amalgamate the existing and growing range of advanced composite projects, the new facility features two separate work areas with twin gantry 16 ton overhead cranes at 12m high.
These were incorporated into the building design to ensure the company has the capability of manufacturing and moving very large structures and the safe handling of the tooling. This now allows Norco to undertake and cater for the growing market demand for larger composite structures.
The larger of the two bays house the two large composite curing ovens the biggest being a modular oven 6m x 6m x 3m with a smaller high temperature oven 6m x 3m x 2m capable of 200°C which is able to fulfil the high service temperature systems used in the oil & gas projects.
Composites Project manager – Henry Nicholson-Cole stated
One of the fundamental factors to successful out-of-autoclave cured prepreg components is having full control of the cure parameters, so investment in very high quality ovens pays dividends in reliability and repeatability.
Both ovens are able to maintain +/-3°C within their operating envelope and run on their own independent programmable computers offering continuous real-time monitoring of part temperatures.