Global Technologies Racing Ltd has announced the establishment of a brand new, state-of-the-art paint and finishing facility. Bespoke designed and built at a cost of over £1 million, the new facility fully meets the exacting needs of the GTR group of companies and their global customers. The site is located in Littlehampton, UK, a few miles away from the group’s Fontwell head offices. With a long history and rich pedigree embedded in the top echelons of motorsport, GTR are already also established in the defence sector. To date, GTR has earned a successful track record in designing, manufacturing and delivering critically precise composite components for specialist use. Of particular note in the defence sector are: composite aircraft components for AW101 Merlin helicopter; composite housings for flotation and life raft systems on the Sikorsky S92 helicopter; composite components for 18 models of Martin-Baker ejection seats and the manufacture of a majority of the composite protected crew pods for fitment to the UK MoD’s Foxhound protected vehicle.
This latter project saw GTR manufacture over 250 units eventually becoming the sole supplier of this specialist composite component to the Foxhound vehicle programme. At the time, this programme was an Urgent Operational Requirement, so an incredibly rapid response was required whilst maintaining the very best quality, in order to save lives in Afghanistan. GTR is very proud of the fact that within a few months of opening, the GTR paint and finishing facility has already achieved formal approval to supply ‘production line ready’ components to two of the world’s leading supercar manufacturers. This enables GTR to not only design and build the exquisite composite components demanded by the supercar OEM’s, but they can now deliver directly to the client for immediate installation onto the production cars. Previously, the components would have been sent to other specialists for painting and finishing – a process that added unwanted time and cost for the customer.
At the heart of the new paint and finishing facility is a Nova Verta downdraft oven booth which is extremely high specification and is broadly recognised as the very best in global paint booth technology. Capable of reaching temperatures of up to 90 degrees Celsius, the system is integrated with a bespoke calibrated data logging function to ensure that surface temperatures are recorded accurately. The booth is also fitted with programmable blowers for the drying of water-based paints. Alongside the booth sits a specialist preparation area which has full extraction sanding equipment, as well as an air-drying booth for the application of primers and UV paints alike. The facility boasts a stand-alone polishing area with technical polishing equipment and high levels of specialist lighting. With regards to process, substantial emphasis has been put into the testing and inspection of hardness, thickness, adhesion and gloss levels with testing equipment that can be deployed on an individual basis or used in a batch process for volume production quality, test and validation purposes. The facility is fully certified to ISO 9000 standards as required by GTR’s prestigious high-end clients in motorsport, performance automotive, aerospace, defence, marine, medical and others.
Simon Kingdon-Butcher, Co-founder, Owner and Director at GTR said: “the establishment of our new paint and finishing facility has been a significant investment for GTR, but we recognised that our customers demanded faster turnaround, the very best quality and increased efficiencies. Being able to meet the high standards required to deliver fully finished components directly to our clients’ production lines is a big step for us”. He added: “two of our premier supercar customers have already approved GTR as fully-finished production part supplier and having this new facility is opening up opportunities for some exciting one-off projects too – more news on that front to follow”.
Sitting alongside this new facility, GTR’s established high-precision composite manufacturing capability is second to none. Selected to manufacture critical components by companies ranging from the world’s most high technology race car teams to critical medical equipment manufacturers, the skills, quality and attention to detail embedded into GTR’s processes are more than a match for precision sectors such as aerospace and defence. With over 250 highly skilled staff on-site, GTR’s production facilities include ten in-house autoclaves ranging in sizes up to 3m in diameter and 5.5m in length. This allows GTR to handle both micro components and larger vehicle sized assemblies alike.