Engineering is not a new game. There are tried and tested processes in play around the world delivering the best in class engineering solutions with a clear competitive advantage. However, as new materials and processing techniques enter the manufacturing world, the educational establishments remain behind the curve.
We know this from first-hand experience. There quite simply is not a raft of qualified and experienced composite engineers out there. It isn’t a widely taught subject and there just aren’t straight forward degrees focusing on composite engineering and manufacture.
The solid modeling and computer stress programs (FEA) generally don’t have composite modules in them, they have to be bought from specialists and then learned on-the-job under great pressure to get it right first time and not learn from your mistakes – as mistakes are costly.
Our experience at
So what does this mean for the industry in general?
Our first concern is that without qualified
Conventional structural engineers are able to pull from industry-specific standard technical publications that have published standard properties for metallic materials, and production processes such as welding have standards and coded qualifications.
This raises our concern for the time, effort and costs associated with the mainstream development of composite components or stand-alone composite parts when qualified and experienced composite engineers are not involved. The iteration from testing to redevelopment requires expert knowledge in the properties and most appropriate processes. Designs are often not as optimal or cost-effective as can be achieved – were they “production-ready” or just complex engineering?
In our recent experiences in developing composite seatbacks, we have been engaged in the concept steering group by our customers, not just at the production stage or when they hit an issue, saving them significant time, effort and costs to reach approval and production readiness.
So, our strong recommendation is that while the manufacturing
It is our clear mission at
To learn more about our approach to composite engineering and supporting the supply chain in material supply, know-how