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A continuous three-year R&D tooling programme conducted by Norco Composites, the Advanced Composites Division of Norco GRP Ltd, and CNC specialists MouldCAM Ltd, has resulted in a successful project that demonstrates an industry-leading position for Norco.

A new Ø2.4m diameter dish was measured to an RMS tolerance of just 0.16mm (6 thousandths of inch) over the entire dish surface. This is more than adequate for delivering consistent Kurtz-Under (KU) band performance and opens the door for Kurtz-Above (KA) band products.

The continuous R&D program has been focused on delivering large scale tooling and parts with unprecedented accuracy levels for conventional tooling. Demonstrations of this technology and process improvement have recently helped Norco secure a further customer in the communication market and the advances in innovation have kept existing customers returning with more ambitious projects enabling them to meet stringent market demands.

Mark Northey, Managing Director of Norco, commented:

“This is a great example of how we are pushing the boundaries with composite tooling. Our capability to achieve such fine tolerances opens up a whole range of possibilities with satellite dishes, antennas and other defence communication products. Norco is now regarded as a world-leading manufacturer of composite tools and we are committed to developing innovative ways to exceed our customer’s expectations.”

Norco provides its customers with a complete moulding manufacturing service from design for manufacture, to 5-Axis CNC patterns and moulds, through to the final manufactured product and assembly. It specialises in out-of-autoclave construction of large structures using Pre-Preg, Resin Infusion and hand layup. The company is very active in the Aerospace, Marine, Flight Simulation and Communication industries.