Business

Companies in unique collaboration to invent new aircraft seat

Gary McDonald Business Editor

AIRCRAFT interior industry leaders in the north will unite to showcase their expertise and knowledge within the supply chain at one of the aerospace sector's biggest global expos next month.

Design company tangerine, along with seat cover manufacturers Bradfor Ltd in Rostrevor, plastic injection moulding firm IPC Mouldings from Carrickfergus and magnesium manufacturer Magnesium Elektron in Manchester have worked in partnership over the last eight weeks to deliver a concept seat named POISE.

And they will demonstrate the unique product at the high-profile Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg from April 4-6, and event which will be attended by suppliers to Europe and international aircraft interiors professionals and airlines.

Joanne Liddle, managing director at IPC Mouldings, said: “With POISE, we wanted to reflect not just the capabilities of each business, but to show that through collaboration and co-creation that there can be true innovation. Each partner has brought their own exceptional capability to this concept seat.

“We are able to illustrate what is possible, in a seemingly impossible time frame, when we work together and the value add it can bring to our customers. We have used our industry knowledge and technical expertise in the engineering of this seat to make the POISE concept a reality.

"This partnership approach with tangerine, Bradfor and Magnesium Elektron is supply chain excellence at its best within the aircraft interiors market.”

Patricia Clements, managing director at Bradfor, added: “We are delighted to have worked on the seat cover manufacture for the POISE concept project along with some of the aerospace industry leading businesses in the UK.

"We believe this seat concept clearly demonstrates each of our respective abilities. It represents not only a fantastic collaborative project, but the capabilities of some of the best aircraft interior talent there is and what can be achieved when we work together in eight short weeks from original concept to completion.”

Dan Flashman from tangerine said POISE "rethinks the structure of the economy class seat" to enhance the passenger experience, creating extra legroom for every person, irrespective of where their seat is positioned relative to the seat track.

He added: "Creating the seat design around delivering this small innovation will have a significant impact on the level of comfort enjoyed by the passenger. Other features such as extended headrest wings, magnetic meal tray, are only made possible by the close collaboration and buy-in from the key stakeholders.”

And Sarka Jeremic, product manager at Magnesium Elektron, which provided the lightest structural material for the seat, added: “This is what the industry was waiting for as it enables the benefits of lighter materials with no detrimental impact on performance or safety and without the need for new production techniques.

"POISE is an excellent example of using new ideas and high tech materials to give the passenger a new feel of comfort.”

The Northern Ireland stand at the Hamburg exhibition has been organised by Invest NI, whose director of advanced manufacturing & engineering Bill Montgomery said: “The interiors market is a niche area of the aerospace industry with valuable commercial opportunities for Northern Ireland’s manufacturers.

"The Aircraft Interiors Expo offers a valuable platform to showcase Northern Ireland’s expertise as the world’s leading region in aircraft seating. This is an exciting collaboration for the companies involved which has the potential to help leverage new international business."

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