One of the fellow exhibitors was Sigmatex Ltd, the leading suppliers of Carbon Fibre textiles. I had a long chat with Simon Green from their sales team (and another motorcycle nut - they're everywhere) and asked him if they would be able to supply the materials needed to make the body panels. Without hesitation he agreed they would do that.
I immediately put Simon in touch with Brett from 3D Printing Engineering (who recently agreed to undertake the manufacture, in conjunction with the University of Brighton students doing the aero analysis) and the pair of them are already discussing which material is best for different areas of the bike.
Our second newcomer was a result of October's Kent Manufacturing Expo. Following my meeting with Tim Allen, president of the Chamber and MD of M J Allen Ltd of Ashford, Tim has been on the lookout for Kent-based suppliers.
One item he's been chasing is a supplier/machinist for the PE300 polyethylene panels that we've specified to hold the capacitors securely and electrically insulate each pack. This search eventually led to N E Plastics and their Sales Director Nick Warne. Nick had a look at the drawings and agreed that they could do all the machining we require and I agreed that, because there's a lot of it, and it's not a material they generally use, we will pay for the material.
Nick then organised a sample piece from the supplier so he could do a machining test on the router, and which we can use to trial-fit the capacitors. Last week I visited N E Plastics in Sidcup to meet Nick and collect the sample which is now on its way to Lyra Electronics.
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