The BAC Mono
Product Development Specialist, ARRK Europe, recently held open days at its Nuneaton factory following the recent refurbishment and investment in its composite capabilities at the site.
ARRK has significantly upgraded its facilities to satisfy growing demand in the area of composites, resulting in the business supporting clients in a range of industries from automotive, railways, marine and aerospace.
“We aim to get TS16949 accreditation within a year, along with AS9100. What that is going to do is secure our opportunity to tender for work in the aerospace market,” said Anthony O'Neill, General Manager of ARRK Europe's Nuneaton site, during the event.
“These accreditations, along with the level of investment made in new machinery with the automotive and aerospace markets specifically in mind, should put us at the forefront for supplying these sectors,” he continued.
During the event, the company exhibited a number of composite projects on which it has worked, including the Noble M600 and BAC’s Mono supercars. Both Noble and BAC use ARRK’s composite capability and expertise to support their vehicle programmes. “You only get those levels of OEMs or manufacturers coming to you if you deliver a quality service with a competitive cost,” said O’Neill when asked about the calibre of projects the company has been involved with.
The open days also saw the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) Association and UK Trade and Investment also in attendance. ARRK joined the SMMT in October 2013, a move which O’Neill said was “critical” for the entire group.
“The SMMT has really bought into supporting us and we've been using the information it provides as guidance for the automotive marketplace, such as who's doing what and when, so we know that we can be tendering for these packages of work that manufacturers are sending out,” he said.
During the event, O’Neill stressed the importance of the utilising the UK’s supply chain for the components needed for manufacturing. “We had Lawrence Davis here, who advises the government on manufacturing,” he explained. “His message at yesterday's open day was that when looking at German OEMs, 65 percent of their supply chain is German. However, looking at British OEMs, only 35 percent of the supply chain is UK-based.
“So there's a gap there the government wants to close. Asking things like, 'why aren't we using local companies to supply the product?’ and ‘Why are we going abroad or outside the EU?' will help us focus on bringing manufacturing back to the UK.”
In terms of its plans for the future, O’Neill said that the level of investment made in the facility, as well as the technical personnel and determination to succeed will drive the company forward. “We want to be the best composites provider in the UK and from there into Europe and from there (laughs) the world,” he concluded.