English carbon-fiber manufacturer Sigmatex has been awarded funding from the U.K. through the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI) for a project that aims to produce higher volumes of composites in the UK to accelerate the building of lighter vehicles.
The Sigmatex Lightweighting Excellence Programme (LX) has been awarded 3.8 million pounds (U.S. $5.6 million) from the latest AMSCI round of funding. The LX consortium will address the lack of capability in the automotive sector to manufacture composite components at high volumes in the U.K. by connecting the key elements of designing, manufacturing and creating capacity for production.
The lightweighting program is led by Sigmatex in partnership with Caparo Advanced Composites, Cranfield University, Expert Tooling & Automation, Granta Design, Group Rhodes, LMAT, Surface Generation, and Tilsatec and with support from Axillium Research and Axillium Lightfellows. Three U.K.-based automotive OEMs will work closely with the LX manufacturing and technical partners.
A total project value of 7.15 million pounds (U.S. $10.6 million) of joint funding from AMSCI and industry will support the creation of 238 new jobs and safeguard 144 existing jobs through 2021.
The LX program offers OEMs and partners the opportunity to accelerate capability in lightweight structures to achieve weight reduction targets driven by stricter EU emission legislation which comes into effect in 2020. Working together, LX partners and OEMs will share internal and external challenges through an LX innovation “platform” of strategic R&D with a common purpose and focus on scaling, rapid application, designing excellence and strategic re-shoring.
Based in Runcorn, Cheshire, England, Sigmatex develops and manufactures carbon fiber textiles for composite material applications across a broad spread of industries ranging from the world’s top supercar manufacturers to aerospace companies.