Advance Engineering Exhibition 2015

Published: 6th November 2015

Over the two day even Ford Component Manufacturing’s, Business Development Manager, Mike Saunders joined thousands of engineering professionals at the UK’s only business forum and supply chain showcase dedicated to all areas and applications of advanced engineering at the Advance Engineering Exhibition 2015.

Our Business Development Manager visited the exhibition looking for new clients partnering and business intelligence opportunities within our sectors of expertise, Metal Forming & Presswork. Also he was looking for any Presswork opportunities in industries using related metal & composite technologies and services for the future of the business development.

By reviewing the exhibitors his aim was to gain insight into industry intel, seek supply chain opportunities, and look at technology case studies at the largest free to attend conferences in its business sector. He selected key presentations to attend from a programme of more than 175 expert speakers given by organisations such as Boeing, Jaguar Land Rover, Airbus, SMMT, EEF and many more.

By getting up close to feature exhibits he was able to observe some of the very latest capabilities and innovations in action across sectors such as aerospace, automotive and marine. By seeing the latest developments behind game changing technologies related to smart materials, hybrid propulsion, lightweighting he was able to identify future opportunities for our Metal Press working Capabilities.

Airbus A350 Main Landing Gear - Advance Engineering Exhibition 2015

SAFRAN Messier Bugatti Dowty exhibit the Airbus A350 Main Landing Gear.

He was Interested to hear Alcoa has signed a contract with Airbus for high-tech, multi-material fastening systems. Lightweight metals leader Alcoa signed an approximately $1 billion contract with Airbus for high-tech, multi-material aerospace fastening systems. The deal is Alcoa’s largest fastener contract ever with the aircraft manufacturer. Alcoa’s fasteners fly on every Airbus platform.

It was great for him to hear of such opportunities and see the final assembly on show which includes Shims, Gaskets and Special Pressing of the type manufactured by Ford Component Manufacturing

During the visit Mike found new leads & potential new customers coming from OEM’s, Tier 1′s & supply chain groups throughout the UK advanced engineering sectors including automotive, aerospace, motorsport, consumer, energy and more, all under the one roof, saved wear and tear on his shoes!

Mike heard one of our clients, Optimas OE Solutions LLC has announced the acquisition of a UK bespoke critical fasteners and special cold forgings company, in a move that enhances their supply chain security and flexibility of support for their key OEM customers. Barton Cold Forming Ltd will complement their business with the supply of product from basic solid rivets used in seat structures to critical fasteners used in engines, Barton manufacture a vast array of components using the best quality materials, with expertise and capability to work with a variety of metals, including mild steel, heat-treated steels (8.8, 10.9, 12.9, SAE8), stainless steel, A70, A80, A2810 high temperature, aluminium, brass and copper.

He also saw Altec, always good to see another businesses at the NEC who are also based in the North East of England, Altec Engineering Limited provides mechanical and electrical engineering support and CNC precision machining services to a broad range of markets and industries throughout the United Kingdom. Their business can overlap with Ford Component Manufacturing, making for some healthy competition for the clients requiring our Shim, Gasket, Speciality Washer Products.


Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU), Exhibiting at the NEC Advance Engineering Exhibition.

Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU), were also exhibiting at the NEC, promoting the North East of England. This is a private and public sector Local Enterprise Partnership striving to deliver jobs and economic growth across Tees Valley. Their funding is coming from a number of sources including Local Authorities and the Governments Northern Powerhouse Initiative.

TVU works with organisations across business and industry providing support for companies both within Tees Valley, or who are looking to locate to the area. They have a dedicated Business Investment team on hand to give lifelong investor support, advising on sites, recruitment and skills availability and matching companies with potential customers and suppliers to help grow their business.

The Tees Valley has a thriving engineering sector and supporting infrastructure, including a skilled workforce, excellent transport links and a wide range of cost competitive premises. There has been over £3bn investment in the last 5 years Capex SSI £1.9 billion, Air Products £600 million, Sembcorp and SITA £200 million, SNF Oil & Gas £150 million, BOC Linde £100 million, Huntsman Tioxide £65 million and  Lotte Chemicals £60 million.

Mike says it’s great to see such investment in the North of England, these types of business allow Ford Component Manufacturing to strengthen their business potential, from a local standpoint for their range of Shims, Gaskets and Speciality Washer Products.

Mike saw other business investment teams coming to the NEC from the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Telford, Stoke on Trent & Staffordshire. It was good to see such support for business  in the UK, Mike does however offer a word of caution overseas companies and supplies want our business and were also at the show.

He saw China Outsourcing Ltd exhibit their business, this is a supplier of cast, forged, machined, fabricated and sheet metal propriety parts and sub-assemblies manufactured to the customers’ drawings and specifications. They use very best of Chinese manufacturing to provide great prices without compromising the quality or have issues with delivery. They offer a very experienced team of engineering, quality and procurement professionals located both in the UK and China.

Overall Mike saw the exhibition as a showcase for some of the most Advance Products & Equipment in the markets they represent. What he found very interesting was the innovations happening with Composites, most interesting for Ford Component Manufacturing as we have some involvement in this area with our Laminated Plasipeel product.

The event was hosted as part of the Advanced Engineering UK 2015 group of events, the Composites Engineering Show represented the UK’s only annual trade show for the very latest in composites materials, moulding & processing equipment, trade processors & fabricators, design, simulation, test & automation partners.

Supporting input from Composites UK, Netcomposites, RAPRA, National Composites Centre, BINDT, EPSRC CIMComp and others, the show provided some expert presentations, a multitude of special show floor features and networking opportunities. Many of the exhibitors products reflected UK industry’s increasing demand to harness the benefits of composites materials, with this part of the overall exhibition providing a crucial annual showcase and Open Conference addressing the very latest in composites materials, composites processing equipment, tooling & technologies, related design & simulation technology, specialist composites processing services, composites test & inspection technologies.

Picture of an example of how to use a composite.

Picture of an example of how to use a composite.

Mike interests in composites reflects Fords advances in the supply of Plasipeel for many automotive applications where corrosion resistance, weight reduction, vibration dampening and electrical insulation is required, Plasipeel peelable shims is used. Mike described to some of the Automotive exhibitors  how Plasipeel can be supplied in materials such as Mylar ® (Polyester), Kapton® (Polymide) and PEEK. Some interest was shown from new potential clients, however our existing clients are already sold on the product!