in Defence

BAE Systems maintains lamination skills at Portsmouth

Posted 19 April 2017 · Add Comment

The traditional and highly-skilled art of laminating in shipbuilding is being safeguarded by BAE Systems in Portsmouth, Hampshire, with two of the company's most experienced laminators having been trained as NVQ assessors to enable them to hand down their skills and inject a fresh lease of life into the craft.



Above: Laminating is core to the manufacture of the high-speed Rigid Inflatable Boats.


Laminating is core to the manufacture of the high-speed Rigid Inflatable Boats produced by BAE Systems at Portsmouth Naval Base. It’s also used in the manufacture and maintenance of larger Royal Navy ships including Hunt Class mine counter measure vessels.The technique involves applying multiple layers, of composite under pressure or heat, to produce a material which is light, strong and stable. The same method is used in the manufacture of Formula One racing cars and high performance aircraft.

BAE Systems’ Small Boats Centre of Excellence currently employs nine laminators in Portsmouth and the company is looking to increase that number in line with the growing demand for parts made of composite materials.
NVQ Level 3 training, equivalent to an A-Level, is now being given to three trainees by in-house experts Kevin Relf and Barry Grant, who have a wealth of experience. Composites Team Leader Barry has been a laminator for 42 years and his colleague Kevin used to run a laminating school at Portchester.
 
“I’ll be retiring in a couple of years so it’s great to be able to pass on my knowledge before I go,” said Barry. “The model that we use for training has come primarily from implementing suggestions from our apprentices themselves, which has increased the interest and kept the training relevant.”
 
The first trainees were shipwrights and former apprentices Ed Poole-McKenzie, Sam Young and Sam McFarlane.
 
“We’re getting the hang of it now, learning alongside the skilled laminators and gathering their experience and knowledge,” said Sam Young.

Added Ed: “It’s been quite a steep learning curve but we’re now able to do everything that the experienced laminators do.”

The need for more laminators was highlighted by Small Boats Production Manager Paul Berry, who took the request to Apprentice and Adult Training Manager Wendy Fry at the naval base’s Skills Development Centre.

The laminating NVQ option has also been added to the Advanced Apprenticeship in Marine Engineering in addition to fabrication, welding, mechanical and electrical qualifications. The NVQs involve classroom training as well as practical experience on a spare boat hull. There are three modules, covering the key aspects of the process.
 
“Once the apprentices have reached the necessary level of competence, they move out onto the shop floor to work alongside the more experienced team members, which is the best way to learn,” said Paul.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Aircraft deliveries add record value to UK industry

The value of aircraft deliveries to UK industry in Q1 2017 reached a new record of £6.5 billion, up a full £1 billion from the first quarter of 2016, driven by a 10% rise in deliveries of widebody aircraft.

Supacat wins Queen's Award

Supacat has won the Queen's Award for International Trade for Outstanding Short Term Growth.

MCL receives MoD order extension

Marlborough Communications Ltd (MCL) announced today a contract extension to an initial order from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD).

UK and US mark F-35A milestone

Senior leaders from the US Department of State, US Air Force (USAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF) gathered together on Wednesday to highlight a significant F-35A Lightning II programme milestone.

MBDA to support Royal Navy Type 45 Sea Viper system

MBDA has received a £175 million contract from the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for further In-Service Support to the Sea Viper weapon system, securing a key capability of the Type 45 fleet.

Oxford Airport sees trend in larger bizjets

London Oxford Airport has reported that it is regularly seeing larger business jets (over 40 tonnes), such as the Bombardier Global and Gulfstream G650, using its facilities, whilst its Oxfordjet FBO has seen an increase of 37% in such

Getac SK2703270617
See us at
DSEI LB0911150917SMI12DE BT203280917SMI FAVWS BT0504290617SMI FHT BT0601190517SMI MSS BT0601270417SMI BT1705SEKO