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News & Press: February 2020

Zircotec unveil new £2m facility at MIA networking event

13 February 2020  
Posted by: Maddison Sreeves
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This week - 12 February 2020 - saw 24 MIA members and industry guests visit Zircotec as part of the MIA Business Networking Programme, in partnership with Blaser Mills Law. This event heralds the first official delegation to Zircotec’s new, fully functional facility and was praised by Terry Graham, Managing Director at Zircotec:

“The event has gone really well, many thanks to the MIA. We’ve had some really good conversations and established some potential business. It was well worth doing and we’d certainly host an event again.”

Zircotec - some background
Zircotec provides thermal management expertise for motorsport including plasma spray technology on exhausts and composite materials, and bespoke heat shielding solutions at all levels including F1, NASCAR, World Rally, BTCC, Formula E and Le Mans.

Opening the event
Welcoming everyone to the event was James Simpson from our programme partner, Blaser Mills Law. Chris Aylett, CEO MIA then gave an update from the MIA and introduced the senior team at Zircotec, Terry Graham (Managing Director), Graeme Barette (Sales Director) and Clive Carter (Project Manager), who delivered an interesting overview of their business

Summer 2019
Last year was a challenging year for the Company with a fire destroying the facility at the start of July. Remarkably, a full recovery plan was in situ only 10 days later.

It’s an incredible turnaround. Customer parts that had been coated by Zircotec survived the 1100°C blaze - clearly demonstrating the capability of their coatings! This new factory now provides more space, more capacity and increased workforce.

Emerging technology
Under discussion was emerging technology and Zircotec shared its 4 growth areas:
• Carbon composite wheels,
• Carbon composite battery boxes,
• Dielectric battery coatings and finally,
• Lightweight heat shielding solutions (with the demand to be lighter, thinner and better performing).

Continual improvement
Zircotec is working towards IATF 16949 accreditation to grow their OEM business as a Tier 1 supplier in 2020.

With this push to constantly improve, Zircotec is taking on Government funded projects. Recent involvement in an Innovate UK project has seen the Company working on innovative thermal management for an exhaust system on a gas tractor.

Another Innovate UK project has seen the company investigating how coating performances are tested in the lab vs. real world scenarios in order to develop a testing standard.

Working with OEMs and Tier 1s, Zircotec is looking to develop ground-breaking thermal innovation to lower CO2 emissions as well as building an automated POD coating system - which could be fully integrated into the production line.

The tour of Zircotec
Nowhere was off limits. Guests were taken on a tour of areas including surface preparation, painting, plasma spray coating and heat shielding. The old factory with its 3 plasma booths has been completely overshadowed by the new factory’s 6 booths - including 2 hand spray booths which can coat 100-120 parts a day!

Final words from Chris Aylett:
“Zircotec did a great job of making a positive story out of a terrible fire and that is down to excellent disaster management. It was a great lesson for everyone to hear, and to be the first guests to take a tour of the new premises is a real privilege.”

If you would like to know more about our upcoming activities, please go to our events page. Alternatively, contact the MIA team to find out more.