The composite engineering company are the first SME in the country to join a number of major UK aerospace and industrial giants at the newly established National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol.
The NCC is part of the government’s 2009 UK Composites Strategy, created to ensure that the UK has the means to competitive global markets. TODS has become the first SME to join up with the NCC, joining tier one members Vestas, Airbus, GKN Aerospace, Rolls Royce, Agusta Westland and Umeco.
Simon Finch, chief executive officer at TODS, explained the importance of the move for the Crewkerne-based firm: “As a progressive SME we see ourselves as being able to provide a positive technical input for many of the big names who now support the ideals of the new centre.
Mr Finch continued: “Access to NCC’s range of specialists and state-of-the art technology will allow us to interact favourably with industry developments and allow us to gather momentum in sustaining our innovative reputation.”
The NCC has been supported by the aerospace industry, where lightweight high-strength components are essential, but also by a range of other sectors. Mr Finch commented: “Manufacturers from other industries such as the automotive, mass-transit and construction industries have also come to realise the through-life effectiveness of composite material products.”
The company is currently involved in the development of super-lightweight structures for a new generation of airships. Solid links remain with major marine ship build programmes, providing ‘through-life’ involvement with Royal Navy Type 45 surface ships and Astute submarines.
The centre’s official launch is taking place tomorrow (Thursday 24th November) at the brand new 8500m2 NCC building.