In June, Composites UK welcomed Ford Motor Company, specifically its UK Innovations Team, as one of its 380 member companies.
The UK Innovations Team is led by Alan Banks, whose remit is to expand the use of lightweighting technologies onto mass production vehicles at an affordable cost.
The company’s reason for joining was cited as a desire for them to contribute to the direction and strategy of the composites industry, offering an OEM, mass production and affordability perspective.
Alan said: “Myself and Ford Motor Company have strong links into OLEV, BEIS, APC, EPSRC, major universities and all of the Catapult centres related to the Automotive arena and are able to help and guide Composites UK assist its members towards implementing lightweight technology globally. As the market leader for commercial vehicles, I believe that these will hold the key to acceptance of mainstream composite technology. These vehicles are sold on their payload capability as well as offsetting CO2 and fuel economy and thus offer a direct business case to all OEM’s for implementation.”
To further strengthen Ford’s relationship with the Association, Composites UK’s members voted Alan on to its Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting held on 16th July, a post he will keep for two years.
Alan added: “I have worked in the Automotive industry for 37 years with a background in mechanical engineering. The current drive for electrification will increase the weight of vehicles which will directly impact the payload for commercial vehicles. It is a must for the composites industry to help solve this issue with a push for zero emission vehicles. The opportunity to steer the UK to support this initiative is something I relish.”
The Association looks forward to working with Alan, and the Ford team, over the coming months.