Yorkshire manufacturer wins £1m aerospace refurbishment contract

Wakefield-based Rhodes Interform Ltd has won a contract to carry out a major refurbishment on a high-temperature Superplastic Forming Press (SPF) in the aerospace industry.

The £1m contract will involve a major upgrade of a 3,000 ton Chester Superplastic Forming press at a plant in Lancashire, one of a pair manufactured by Rhodes.  The press is used to form major titanium aerofoil components and is designed to operate continuously at 1,000°C.

The refurbishment by Rhodes Interform will focus on the replacement of all the high-temperature components including press platens, platen fixings, supporting insulations and heatshield trims. To keep downtime to a minimum, Rhodes Interform’s team of specialist service engineers will provide a seven day per week service for a period of six weeks.

The project forms part of a continual obsolescence programme by the plant and involves upgrades to control software, hydraulic systems, gas management system, platen heating controls and hard wiring replacement.


30MN Press. Image courtesy of Rhodes Interform Ltd.

The 30mn Chester Superplastic Forming press


Rhodes Interform’s Technical Director Peter Anderton said: “We are delighted with this latest contract win, which is testament to the expertise of our team in technical repair, maintenance and upgrade of mechanical and hydraulic presses.  We have seen a major upsurge in the last few months in contracts with the aerospace industry and we are excited about what this means for our business.”

Rhodes Interform’s machine refurbishments offer customers a cost-effective solution to dramatically improve equipment life and increase productivity. The company provides a complete one-stop refurbishment service, from arranging where necessary for the machine to be transported to the company’s maintenance facility in Wakefield, to retrofitting new components and re-commissioning on site. 

Rhodes Interform’s parent company, Group Rhodes, boasts a 200-year metalforming history and has also been manufacturing presses to form composite materials from as early as the 1930s. The company has won Queen’s Awards for both Innovation and International Trade in recent years, particularly for its work in the aerospace sector.

For more information please visit the website www.grouprhodes.co.uk or contact the Technical Sales department on + (44) 01924 37 11 61.