Applied Component Technology (ACT) is using its appearance at the first ever UK Automechanika event to reveal a new biocomposite that can significantly reduce the weight of interior and exterior parts used in cars, commercial vehicles and some aerospace applications.
The leading Wrexham automotive supplier developed FibriRock™ using naturally sourced woven basalt fibres, offering great strength and durability, yet the biocomposite is cost effective to produce and up to 30% lighter than traditional materials.
Optimised for the aerospace industry and a range of related biocomposite products, it is also now available for automotive applications, including structural loadspace floors, parcel shelves and other interior trim panels where lightweight, high strength and sustainability are prerequisites.
Boosted by this new technology, ACT is now embarking on a recruitment drive to increase its workforce by 10% over the next twelve months, including the appointment of a sales manager; commercial project manager; cost estimator; team leader, and three injection moulding setters.
Managing director of Applied Component Technology, Dermot Sterne explained: “We are always looking at new ways to innovate traditional manufacturing processes and a significant amount of our recent R&D has been around exploring the use of ‘natural fibres’ in automotive applications.
“This is in direct response to the industry’s determination to cut emissions to 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre by 2021, and we believe we have come up with a unique solution for helping the carmakers work towards this regulation.”
He added: “FibriRock™ and its automotive derivatives are a new type of biocomposite and we are confident that it will deliver major weight savings. It is already doing just that for the aerospace sector with the launch of a new gallery cart and, if initial interest is anything to go by, the automotive sector is beginning to sit up and take notice.”
ACT, which employs 65 people at its 6,000 sqm site on the Wrexham Industrial Estate, is displaying this innovative material on stand 9D45 at Automechanika.
Its team of automotive experts is on hand to speak with visitors about its growing product range and a £1m investment in a world class production line that has achieved annual PPM of just five and delivery scores greater than 99.9%.
Applied Component Technology is expecting sales to grow significantly in 2016, boosted by new contracts in automotive and the introduction of SmartCart, the world’s most innovative airline galley cart.