Tuesday, August 13, 2013

News: MTL targets SUV market


Rotherham manufacturing specialist, MTL Group, is finding new markets for its recently launched "SMARTbend" technology.

MTL Group is one of Europe's fastest growing project manufacturing specialists in the metal sector and is a global exporter of secondary steelwork. It works with a global blue-chip customer base in the defence, construction equipment, rail and off-shore wind energy sectors.

Specialists in armour plate, MTL has developed new technology to give armoured vehicle manufacturers a lower cost, cold formed solution as an alternative to hot formed armour.

Due to the nature of SMARTbend, no heat is introduced into the material so the original mechanical properties of the steel are maintained, unlike other processes that rely on heat and expensive, bespoke tooling to bend this type of material.

Armour plate created by this new process is now being fitted to SUVs, providing the highest levels of protection but at a reduced weight compared to traditional methods.

In addition to developing new technologies, MTL also offer a specialist added value engineering service for the defence sector, called DFM, where a dedicated team at MTL come together at the design stages, to review the customer's design and look at alternative processing methods to reduce weight, cost and increase the protection levels.

Simon Hurst, sales manager for defence at MTL Group, said: "Utilising our SMARTbending technique, DFM and the latest generation in armour we are able to help create unique kits at significantly lower weight than previously possible.

"Our customers are contacting us on a weekly basis to take advantage of this breakthrough. The weight saving in some cases is can be reduced by 30% on the materials alone. Due to our SMARTbend technique we are producing easy to fit cold formed panels that would traditionally have been welded therefore reducing the number of parts and increasing the strength."

Experts at MTL Group are currently working on supplying armour plate to a number of vehicle types, ranging from family saloons to the more traditional Land-cruisers and high end VIP vehicles.

MTL handles multimillion pound contracts exporting to more than 40 countries worldwide. Major customers include BAE Systems, Rheinmetall, and General Dynamics, working in close partnership to produce critical parts for military applications. They have continued to grow since moving into a 300,000 sq ft modern manufacturing facility in Brinsworth in 2011.

MTL Group website

Images: MTL Group


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