The Gibbs Humdinga Program

"The beauty of composites is that every project is different. To have the opportunity to work on such a monumental challenge as developing a seven-metre long structural hull, and the tooling to suit, for the Humdinga project has provided us invaluable experience for the future."

Martin Meir - Managing Director

Through managerial ingenuity and an adaptive instinct to drive change, our approach to the construction of six large, carbon fibre, amphibious vehicles for a Singapore based client, under the license of Nuneaton-based firm Gibbs Technologies, in 2015 formed the building blocks for five successful years delivering a cost effective and ground-breaking solution to the marine and land automotive industry.

The initial six vehicles had established us as an integral part to the blueprint for the delivery of amphibious vehicles. Thanks to the success of the work with the client in Singapore, we were quickly invited to join an already assembled supply chain to help deliver an order of twenty additional vehicles.

Our inclusion in the production process reduced the completion time of the project by 70% whilst saving the main contractor over half a million pounds in production costs, whilst producing a product deemed far superior than what was thought originally possible.

We quickly identified that the initial road map was littered with flaws and processes which would restrict the project’s ultimate objectives. The initial process contained antiquated, laborious and expensive design flaws which without early intervention would ultimately have led to the project exceeding its budget. We were charged with providing a cost-effective solution to help steer the project to remain within the financial boundaries and architectural framework.

The Humdinga Amphibious Vehicle Program quickly became our trial ground to integrate innovative tooling and curing methodologies to help construct the framework for a new approach to the process that would save valuable build time at a fraction of the original cost.

The supply chain development methodology originally sought was not fit for purpose. Due to the complexity and scale of the hull and the final integration of the spray rails, the proposed tooling would produce a product that would not withstand the demands of real-world conditions. To achieve a product that would allow the customer to deliver a vehicle that could endure the elemental rigours of both land and water meant an ambitious new tooling process.

The process which was initially proposed would result in inaccuracies and compatibility faults which would detract from the integrity of the project. We quickly adapted an innovative tooling method and multi-phase cure processes to mitigate these potential issues.

The work flow we developed would need to tolerate the demands of repetition of a large volume order; the tooling process would need to be robust and consistent; and the work force would need to develop a specified level of expertise that could navigate the inevitable challenges of a project of such magnitude. Over the years that followed, we achieved this in abundance and the team and headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent continues to boast the capacity, machinery and expertise to compete in the composites sector and the global market.

Growing to meet the demands of the project and help achieve the objectives of the customer, the company grew to meet a new set of higher standards to which it can hold all of its product output to.