Ten year success story

07 Oct 2020

Engineering capacity news posted by Andy Sandford

Component manufacturer Rockwood Composites has grown its turnover almost ten-fold in the past ten years and grown its workforce six-fold.

This has included over 50% growth compared to last year in the midst of huge uncertainty for the engineering and manufacturing sectors. Rockwood has gone from strength to strength recently in the face of the pandemic increasing turnover strongly and continued recruiting throughout with a 20% increase in staff in the last six months. 

Rockwood designs and manufactures composite components using out-of-autoclave techniques, compression and bladder moulding of pre-preg composite material in metal tooling. It delivers cost effective solutions to technically demanding problems, showcasing first class quality components, promptly delivered into a wide range of sectors.

Mark Crouchen, Managing Director of Rockwood Composites, said: “Within the last 10 years, we have vastly expanded our services. We are proud to have worked with so many OEMs across the defence, aerospace, nuclear and marine sectors, to name but a few.

“The relationships that we have built with our customers over the past decade enables us to provide an excellent service. We work closely with customers and strive to over-deliver on product quality and cost effectiveness, providing continual process improvement for cost and performance optimisation.”

Rockwood has been supplying a wide range of industries, including aerospace, marine, defence and nuclear and has established a proven track record of delivering complex structures.

The company aims to continuously invest in innovation to ensure customer satisfaction, developing new methods when no off-the-shelf product is available, such as manufacturing a high voltage (HV), high stress, electrical insulation systems for cryogenic applications using high pressure moulding (HPM) of pre-preg composite and polyimide film, to overcome existing products’ limitations.

This innovative technology has been applied to a new fusion reaction power generation system where the integrity of the HV insulation is a critical element in the construction to inhibit electrical short circuits within cryogenic high-power generation systems.

The press moulding process enables faster cycle times and produces high quality components which require a minimum of finishing. Rockwood started with one press and one CNC. It now has nine presses of varying sizes to cope with a wide range of components and five CNCs.

Mark Crouchen said: “The Rockwood technical and development team has gained expert knowledge and experience in the field of composite materials and manufacturing processes over many years of designing, developing and manufacturing composite components for a wide range of highly specialised applications.”