Client: Rockwood Composites

Rockwood Composites

Bespoke press will help Rockwood’s sales to soar

Rockwood Composites is a bespoke component manufacturer based in Newton Abbot, Devon. Built on over 25 years’ experience in the composites industry, the company creates specialist composite parts for diverse sectors including nuclear, defence, medical technology and aerospace.

Rockwood boasts a vast roll-call of products and applications: drone propellers, aircraft cabin components, cryogenic struts and medical knee braces all feature. Its prestigious customer base of international blue-chip brands is no less varied.

Tooling and manufacturing process

At Aldermans we know that press tooling accuracy is key to achieving final product quality – and the same is true at Rockwood. One of the company’s manufacturing processes, compression moulding, begins with the creation of bespoke press tooling. This is placed in heated presses which shape the composite material as required. This process enables faster cycle times for speedier production, however the compression moulding presses are highly specialist designs.

Suite of specialist presses

Rockwood first approached us in 2013 to make a large press for them, capable of producing parts up to 2m x 1m in size.

Pleased with the result, Rockwood commissioned us to build a second similar press; followed in 2017 by a smaller version (of which the company now has four).

Skill and strength

In June 2018 we were asked to create a third large press, specifically to help Rockwood capitalise on the growing aerospace sector. The new press was destined to produce interior panels for aircraft.

The designs for the presses were supplied to us by Rockwood – our expertise lay in creating a sturdy metal structure required to withstand the rigours of pressure and continuous manufacturing.

Rockwood had previously visited our Plymouth factory and were impressed with our range of in-house fabrication facilities, which we put to good use in creating the presses. The main structure employed a combination of tube cutting and MIG welding, and of course our assembly skills.

The entire production process took around 10 weeks, and has provided Rockwood with an asset to help them continue to grow their business for years to come.

 

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The specialist compression moulding presses we built for Rockwood Composites are helping them capture new opportunities in the aerospace market.

“Aldermans has made our presses in the past so we had confidence to commission this third press, which increases our capacity for larger components by 50%. We look forward to capitalising on the new business opportunities this press will be enable us to pursue.”

Mark Crouchen, Managing Director, Rockwood Composites