Our sister company SW Plastics based in Sevenoaks was recently successful in becoming an approved supplier to a prominent F1 team engine manufacturer.
Whilst historically this has not been our natural market, an opportunity existed for a specialist plastics manufacturer of components - a company able to offer materials advice, turnaround time, and high quality complex machined parts in Victrex PEEK, and other engineering thermoplastics.
WHAT WE DID
After successfully completing a somewhat painful audit process, the green light was given for SW Plastics to produce some development components to be used in the production line, where there was a need for a material with properties including structural rigidity and electrical insulation.
With the ongoing push to reduce weight, whilst retaining essential material properties such as good heat resistance, electrical insulation, and maintaining high structural rigidity at elevated operating temperatures, the materials offered by SW Plastics proved to be an ideal partnership.
PRECISION TAKEN TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL
SW plastics have supplied complex CNC milled and turned components for F1 engine manufacturing processes and have accepted the challenge of producing similar components to be used on the vehicles themselves, meeting the increasingly demanding conditions generated from the F1 racing environment.
The market for more complex machined components in high performance plastics with complex features is growing. Incorporating requirements for machining in 4th and 5th Axis, the challenges faced by SW plastics are ever increasing and the multi-axis CNC centres are pushed to the limits.
INVESTING IN TECHNOLOGY
Our recent investment in the new Delcam CAD CAM package enables us to visualize the manufacturing process prior to reaching the machine tool, with all troubleshooting and feature analysis done from the comfort of the desktop.
Recent improvement in our processes have been realised from the use of this advanced package, enabling us to remove burrs, reduce cycle times, and eliminate secondary operations.
Our latest component manufacture for the F1 industry has included Viton high temperature resistance seals in bespoke designs, which were CNC machined to customer drawing and tolerances.