Case study

IPC Mouldings: innovative plastics company is flying high

Northern Ireland-based aircraft components manufacturing business takes off thanks to support from Innovate UK.

Joanne Liddle, Managing Director of IPC Mouldings
Joanne Liddle, Managing Director of IPC Mouldings

Plastics company’s commercial success

IPC Mouldings: Northern Ireland plastics company manufacturers for commercial airplanes

Advanced engineering manufacturer, IPC Mouldings, is seeing increasing global demand for its aircraft components after taking part in a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).

The company specialises in developing advanced engineering polymers and processing techniques. It provides plastic injection moulding, design and tooling from concept to manufacture. Managing Director, Joanne Liddle, explains:

The next time you are on a commercial aircraft there is a high probability that the seat you are sitting on was not only manufactured in Northern Ireland but that the plastic visible parts were all manufactured by IPC Mouldings.

IPC Mouldings has been taking part in a KTP with Queen’s University Belfast. The KTP scheme works as a 3-way partnership between a business, an academic institution and a graduate. The university or college employs a recently-qualified graduate who works at the company. The graduate, known as the ‘associate’, brings new skills and knowledge to the business. Invest Northern Ireland (INI) co-funds the scheme in partnership with Innovate UK.

Joanne adds:

Over the past 12 months we have introduced 70 new components into the aircraft industry and this has secured our long-term future with new contracts. Our KTP associate has added real value to the company and this has proved to be a very successful collaboration. Bringing in someone new to the business with such a high intelligence and making them part of the team has lifted the performance of the team as a whole.

IPC Mouldings has contributed to the manufacture and export of the world’s leading narrow body seat. This has meant supplying enough components to build 1.1 million seats.

Hugh Henry is a KTP Associate and works for IPC Mouldings at the company’s Design and Quality Engineer. He said:

My role in the company involves the knowledge transfer of technical processes, the research and innovation of new polymer materials, and developments and improvements with the new products introduction process. “One of the things I’m most proud of is a project where I was involved from the quotation stage right through to the validation stage. This project resulted in a total revenue of $250,000 for IPC Mouldings.

IPC Mouldings workshop
Published 8 September 2016