PAC has been awarded the prestigious Platinum Level Innovator status from Innovate NI, the highest accolade available in the programme.
The Innovation Accreditation Programme from Innovate NI is a Department for the Economy initiative, helping local businesses innovate successfully. It is delivered by Invest Northern Ireland, local councils, and Further Education colleges.
Innovate NI defines innovation as "creating value from ideas". Northern Ireland has a history of strong, local innovators who have invented everything from chocolate milk to portable defibrillators and the pneumatic tyre, and now PAC Group's innovative carbon composite fibre preformer technology has been formally recognised, achieving the highest accolade available in the Innovation Accreditation Programme.
Congratulating PAC Group on their accreditation, Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research & Development, said:
“It is important to recognise the positive impact innovative companies have on the Northern Ireland economy and I would like to congratulate PAC Group on obtaining Platinum Level Innovator status, the highest achievable innovator status from Innovate NI."
“PAC Group is an ambitious company with a proven track record in following the principles of successful innovation from ideation through to commercialisation. It has used this to achieve continued success with leaders in the aviation, marine, and automotive sectors, staying ahead of its competitors. I hope that other ambitious Northern Ireland companies will be inspired to follow in the footsteps of the PAC Group and Invest NI looks forward to supporting the company’s innovation journey for many years to come.”
L-R: Elwyn Agnew, PAC Group Engineering Director; Iain Parkhill, PAC Group Operations Director; Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Head of Innovation, Research & Development; Darren Leslie, PAC Group Business Development Director; Gavin Rankin, PAC Group Technical Director.
The Belfast-based company holds 42 patents on their preformer hardware and software, and the team has designed, manufactured, and installed bespoke hot drape formers and vacuum preformers for companies such as Spirit AeroSystems, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield, and McLaren Automotive.
In 2019, PAC Group were awarded a contract by Spirit AeroSystems to design and manufacture a 20mx6m quartz infrared preformer for its new Aerospace Innovation Centre in Prestwick, Scotland, which is scheduled to open later this year. It is believed to be the largest preformer in the world, and represents a significant investment on behalf of Spirit to secure a step-change in composite fabrication, automation, and assembly technologies of current and future aircraft.
PAC Group previously designed and manufactured an 18mx4m vacuum preformer for Spirit’s Wing Manufacturing and Assembly facility in Belfast. The preformer is used by Spirit on its advanced composite wing programme, which received the 2019 MacRobert Award for UK engineering innovation.
Elwyn Agnew, Engineering Director at PAC Group, said:
"We are delighted to have achieved Platinum Level status from Innovate NI. We seek to collaborate with customers to help them find cost-effective solutions to their problems using the latest technologies. Our team specialise in thinking differently. We are constantly innovating, coming up with new ideas, applications, and solutions to help our customers reduce process cycle time, streamline processes, improve output quality, and improve their bottom line."
"In 2020, we became Industry Partners to the UK Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub, and we are currently undertaking R&D to make our preformer technology more cost-effective and accessible for a wider range of applications and sectors. Being recognised as a Platinum Level Innovator for our technology is a fantastic achievement for the PAC team."
For more information on PAC Group's specialist division, visit PAC Composites, or contact our team today on T: 02893 364600 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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