KS Composites have been engaged in many grant projects and have been very proactive in pushing and pulling on R&D and new techniques and process development throughout their 35 year history.
Carbon run’s through the KS make up and to be involved in large projects that add benefit in the long term future of customers and also the wider audiences that KS live for.
We were very honoured to be accepted on to the Dual Use Technology Exploitation (DUTE) project managed through Finance Birmingham.
Background of the project was to develop an light weight Carbon Battery housing pack that could be manufactured in a very cost effective manor through learning and testing on new materials and process developments, with the plan to mass manufacture 1000+ electronics bikes.
- Saietta R Next Generation Saietta new light weight, high efficiency vehicle applications
- Structural energy storage system – a fundamental part of the drive train technology / innovation
KS, the manufacturer, have benefited from the funding provided through the scheme and have pushed the business to the next level with new equipment, new premises and new processes/learning that’s directly reducing time on jobs, and makes the whole part a lot more cost effective.
Using the allocated grant funding, KS have successfully been able to acquire new premises that are more fit for purpose, Within the new building KS have constructed dedicated area and equipment for R&D to support our ongoing R&D plans.
Historically, in the existing premises, not only did we not have room to do this on a permanent basis, also the nature and format of the building prohibited the full optimisation of any of these processes, hence it’s always been very difficult, if not impossible to fully demonstrate the potential opportunity of new development.
This funding has already led to the introduction of a completely new process and product line for the business (Bi-Sys:1000) and we are installing a dedicated pilot cell for this project, along with the other more general pilot plant for the development of process around the thermoset composite materials.
Having now been able to begin to informally show existing and prospective clients to this new premise and the plant contained therein, we have already received very positive feedback to say the least with both informal and formal commitments received to new work packages which will also now drive a significant phase of recruitment, in line with our original plans.
We now have planned spare capacity and have already identified a number of avenues that we wish to now invest further time and money into research. As these pilot programs progress, this space gives us opportunity to emulate the initial success of our Bi-Sys:1000 product cell through the rapid introduction and commercialisation of these which has simply not been possible with the original premises and plant.
Namely, the dedicated pilot / R&D infrastructure comprises:-
- Ground floor
- Creation of first dedicated pilot manufacturing cell for the Bi-Sys:1000 process
- Purchase and installation of curing oven for this process
- Permanent allocation of workstations in the pre-preg laminating environment, trim, fit and bonding workshops
- New autoclave capacity meaning that we are now dedicating one autoclave to all pilot and R&D processing.
- 5 axis CNC tooling machine to support all R&D tooling requirements
- 5 axis CNC part trimming machine to support all R&D panel trimming (this machine alone has been fully saturated supporting the Bi-Sys:1000 program over the last 3 months+)
- Allocated space within the machining department to accommodate the planned introduction of a robot cell, in line with our next phase of pilot line investment.
- 1st floor
- Office capacity for dedicated R&D engineering and PM resource
- Planned spare capacity for future pilot manufacturing cells
The boost that we have now seen from the opportunity to credibly demonstrate a meaningful end-to-end process in a dedicated cell has justified the investment for ourselves and interested stakeholders.
We welcome any questions on any of these points and of course a visit should any interested parties wish to see the benefits of progress first hand.