Icon Brings New Collaborative Approach to Aerospace Product Development

Icon Polymer Group, a technology company in engineered polymer products, has developed a new approach to collaboration and product development which is set to bring major benefits for customers in the aerospace sector.

The company is delivering product and technological workshops to the sector's major players with the aim of educating customers about the latest developments in materials, polymer and mechatronic technology and processes while listening and learning to better understand the challenges faced by its customers. This enables the company to get the design, supply and commercial aspects 'right first time' - essential in this marketplace where time to market is critical.

Icon Polymer's Director of Materials and Technology, Mike Heslop, explained: "As organisations have become leaner - with a corresponding focus on core activities - there is a growing need for suppliers, as experts in their fields, to engage with the customer base. Together we are able to challenge and understand specifications, and so ensure accurate statements of work are created to optimise product performance, cost and lead time, while embracing the latest technology."

"The aim of the workshops is to inform our clients about the possibilities that now exist and how they can 'design for cost' from the earliest stage of specification development."

"The workshops provide an opportunity for designers, engineers and procurement colleagues from within our customer organisations to come together and openly discuss their requirements - generic or specific - and ensure greater collaboration through the design process, with a greater understanding of how individual components fit into the whole assembly.

"This process is going a long way towards removing commoditisation in the supplier selection process and helping our customers reduce lead time for getting their products to market - a key business metric"

Among the customers to have benefited from an Icon Polymer workshop is Netherlands-based Fokker Aerostructures, a specialist in the design, development and manufacture of lightweight structures, modules and landing gear for the aerospace and defence sectors.

The workshop run by Icon was attended by colleagues from the company's purchasing, engineering, design and quality teams, and focused on developments in sealing solutions, elastomer types, reinforcing fabrics, process builds, capability, tooling and systems.

Edmar van den Brandt, Commodity Manager - Chemicals, Seals, Plastics at Fokker Aerostructures, commented: "The interactive training session provided by Icon Polymer is unique in providing our engineers with a greater understanding of today's materials and technology, their characteristics and suitability for different sealing applications, while the Icon team learned where they needed to focus to provide Fokker with enhanced product and service levels."

"However, what came across most strongly was how overspecification on a seal design can result in substantial additional cost. The key learning for us was to question every aspect of the design process to ensure that only the essential features and characteristics are built in, to optimise performance, reduce lead times, ease the manufacturing process and therefore minimise cost"

For further information on Icon Polymer Group visit www.iconpolymer.com

About Icon Polymer Group

Icon Polymer Group provides customised engineered solutions to blue chip companies across the world through the innovative application of polymer technology.

With manufacturing sites in Retford, Nottinghamshire, and Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, the company exports to more than 30 countries.

Icon Polymer Group supports numerous OEM platforms with components for international rail applications, civil and military off-highway vehicles and civil and military aircraft.

For more details visit www.iconpolymer.com

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Phone: 615 585 9912


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