Uploaded 10 Nov @ 10:30am
Swindon-based Retrac, a business with diverse engineering and manufacturing capabilities, has spread its wings to face the challenges of the aerospace, off-world and other high-performance lightweight industry sectors.
Although motorsport is a key part of Retrac’s business it has diversified and expanded its customer base over the past few years, with an additional business unit established to support demanding sectors such as aerospace and medical. “We managed to sustain over half of our workforce throughout lockdown, supporting ongoing projects and new enquiries, without the total reliance of the Government’s Furlough scheme,” explains Company Director, Ian Drew. “We have recently taken an R&D medical project to the next level and are currently in production supporting the new orders and requirements. Our aircraft tooling programmes are ongoing as are our orders for ‘flight approved components’, and enquiries for further business is encouraging.”
The company has continually improved its impressive facilities in Swindon, maintaining and improving infrastructure and key personnel over the past 24 to 36 months. Investment is made to help support various programmes of work, and as part of its diversification to introduce new capacity and capabilities into the organisation.
“At the start of the year,” recalls Ian Drew, “we took delivery of our new 60 tonne, 11 kW servo driven press with a 1 by 1 m platen area. This was a bespoke design, manufactured by Cambridge Dynamics for composite applications. This followed on from the appointment of a CAD Design Engineer that specialises in the design and manufacture of press tooling and composite pressed components with a wealth of expertise in this field.”
He continues: “We also sent our Quality Manager and Inspectors on a 4-day training course to gain experience with the latest of our investments from Measurement Solutions, a portable CMM and 3D scanning system from Creaform. With the introduction of our new HandyPROBE and MetraSCAN3D with full probe and target accessories, as well as all the required software packages we have improved our quality department. Speed, accuracy and wireless flexibility are further bolstered by the capability to reverse engineer tools, jigs and components by providing finalised 3D scan data for use directly with any CAD or 3D printing software.
“We can then use this data, to design and manufacture patterns, moulds and finally components, especially in markets where such data may not have been readily available at the time of original production, such as historic cars or legacy aircraft parts.”
Retrac has also continued its journey towards its AS9100 accreditation. With all the new infrastructure, equipment, production control software, quality documentation and procedures in place, the company hopes to complete this over the next few months.
Further reading: www.retrac-composites.com
Ben Hayes – Sales Manager, CWST
Materials & Manufacturing Technologies covers the range of lightweight materials and the techniques available when manufacturing lighter and stronger parts.
By targeting the materials tier supply chain and the top end users M&MT will provide solutions to key professionals across the ‘lightweighting’ sector in all leading industries such as Aerospace, Automotive and so on.Read more...