Adding Body To The Engineers Of The Future

A Nottinghamshire company is helping to safely drive inspiration in the engineers of tomorrow by equipping them with the tools…..

BPD Manufacturing, based at Pinxton, has become a key supply partner to Greenpower programme for junior and senior schools, whereby teams from schools and the commercial sector build and compete electric kit cars at circuits including Silverstone and Goodwood. The aim is to encourage children to consider a career in engineering.

Under the partnership, BPD manufactures and supplies the aluminium chassis and most other metal components for the Goblin kit car, designed specifically to give primary school pupils a chance to get involved in an engineering project in a fun and exciting way.

From the original Greenpower design, BPD Manufacturing evolved the kit now being employed using its in-house design department. Modifications have included improvements to the steering geometry to make it easier to drive, new motor mounting system, enhanced safety roll bar and a vacuum formed seat. The kit has also been individually labelled to make it as simple to assemble as possible whilst still providing primary school children with educational value. Pupils are not allowed to modify or change the kit, only to add the body covering.

Graham Dronfield, BPD Manufacturing managing director, observed, "Creating the Goblin kit has been a great challenge, developing the original design into something that could be fabricated as efficiently as possible, and deliver a very safe finished product, whilst still giving the builders an opportunity to learn."

Greenpower's managing director Jeremy Way added, "On average 200 Goblin cars take part in the race series, so we need quantity and reliability of supply, and quality, as we are dealing with a machine that will be transporting children on a race track. The pupils that take part love the challenge of building their own car, driving it, and being involved alongside teams from marques including Bentley and Jaguar Land Rover.

"BPD Manufacturing has proven from the outset it can and will deliver a high quality product that meets our requirements, and works as a partner to create a finished product that is the best achievable within our strict criteria."

BPD Manufacturing offers a comprehensive range of services, including surface finishing, coating, vacuum forming and light engineering, on runs from 'one-offs', to thousands, enhanced by an in-house design, tool production, testing and post-production services and assembly, delivering a finished component for the customer. Its customer base includes Honda, Lloyds Pharmacy, Synseal, Network Rail and Lear Corporation.