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

SSTL to build Galileo navigation payloads

Under an Authority to Proceed signed with prime contractor OHB-System AG today, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) is commencing work on building eight navigation payloads for Galileo, Europe's global navigation satellite

EDM produces cabin crew sector infographic

Provider of training simulators to the civil aviation and defence sectors, EDM, announced today that it has produced the aviation industry's first infographic about the cabin crew sector.

First Typhoons delivered to RAFO

The arrival of the first Typhoon aircraft, part of a batch of 12 of the combat jets scheduled to be delivered to the Sultanate of Oman, was marked with a ceremony, held on 21 June 2017 in the presence of the Commander of the Royal Air Force of

Renishaw's Lucy Ackland named one of UK's top 50 female engineers

Lucy Ackland, Senior Development Engineer at global engineering company, Renishaw, has been selected as one of the UK's Top 50 Women in Engineering in 2017.

IndigoVision previews BX Panoramic Dome Camera at IFSEC

IndigoVision this week provided a preview of its new BX Panoramic Dome Camera during IFSEC International 2017, which took place at the ExCel, London, 2022 June.

WEC secures full JOSCAR accreditation

Woodford Engineering Consultancy (WEC) has achieved full accreditation to the Joint Supply Chain Accreditation Register (JOSCAR).

SMI AirMissSK0106130717
See us at
DSEI LB0911150917SMI12DE BT203280917SMIUAV BT1005280917SMI AirMissBT0305251017SMI FAVWS BT0504290617Aviation Africa BT18418