The future-proofing of advanced composites manufacturer CCP Gransden in Ballygowan, Co Down, took a major step forward today with the appointment by Jaguar Land Rover to a consortium prototyping a new electric specialist vehicle.
CCP Gransden is the only Northern Ireland business involved in the £35m research project confirmed by Prime Minister The Rt Hon Theresa May MP at the Zero Emission Vehicles Summit in Birmingham.
Speaking of the appointment, Jim Erskine, Managing Director of CCP Gransden, said: “We have developed an advanced composite manufacturing cell that is highly automated and enables us to manufacture composite parts at a fast rate and to a high quality. We are delighted that Jaguar Land Rover has given us the opportunity to work with them as this project helps future-proof our business and provides opportunities for significant growth. We are proud to be at the forefront of continuing to develop the manufacturing sector within Northern Ireland.”
Electrified vehicles require stiffer, lighter vehicle structures to boost their performance. Project Tucana will deliver this vision by developing world-leading cost effective, scalable carbon fibre composite solutions. In doing so the project will allow the true environmental credentials of electric vehicles to be realised by enabling wider adoption. Tucana will deliver this step-change by addressing structural performance at a design, material and manufacturing-level which is currently unmet across the industry.
Professor Dr Gero Kempf, Chief Engineer, Jaguar Land Rover said: “With the grant awarded to Project Tucana, we can take an industry leading role in the development of next generation technologies specifically lightweight body structures. Together with industry experts and academia we will collaboratively deliver innovative carbon fibre solutions, achieving a performance that will further enhance driver experience for future premium electric vehicles.”
NIACE General Manager Dave Thompson welcomed the announcement for its member company CCP Gransden and commented: “To be associated with one of the most iconic names in motoring history is a fantastic endorsement of the aim, focus and professionalism of CCP Gransden. This comes as little surprise. Working with CCP at NIACE we have seen the company consistently invest in their technical skills and capabilities over a number of years. Their innovation and expertise in the use of composite materials, particularly for high-end automotive use, marks the company out as one of the most innovative in this area. This latest endeavour will increase their capabilities even further. Congratulations!”
CCP Gransden is also a member of ADS, the national trade body representing aerospace, defence, security and space sectors. Dr Leslie Orr, Director of ADS NI welcomed CCP Gransden’s participation in the project and said: “Automotive, aerospace, defence and other industries are looking for new materials and processes to make their products stronger and at the same time lighter. CCP Gransden are a progressive and innovative SME, developing new composites materials and new ways of making products. Driving forward on projects like this will keep them at the forefront of these new technologies and open new markets and opportunities.”
Established in 1893, CCP Gransden is one of Northern Ireland’s leading advanced composites manufacturers specialising in the aerospace, automotive and defence industries. It employs 25 people at its plant in Ballygowan, Co Down.