£1m investment in technical fibres fuels job generation at Cygnet Texkimp

Published on July 27th, 2015

Cygnet Group company and fibre handling specialist Cygnet Texkimp is investing £1m to expand its machinery and materials research centre after receiving one third of funding for the scheme from the Textiles Growth Programme.

The investment will also create nine new jobs over the next two years as the Cheshire-based engineering company increases capacity across its R&D, mechanical and electrical design and software engineering functions.

It will use the cash to develop six new pieces of technology for the technical fibre market, including two advanced testing lines and a ground-breaking multi-axis filament-winding and linear fibre-placement machine.

The company’s plans include doubling the size of its research centre by creating a purpose-built clean room where customers can run full-scale, secure product trials.
The Textiles Growth Programme forms part of the Regional Growth Fund and is a dedicated grant growth programme designed to drive investment in Britain’s textile supply chain, with a focus on the North of England.

“This major investment in R&D gives us and our customers the tools to be first to market with the best new technologies and is expected to have a significant impact on the future performance and direction of global technical fibre industries,” says Luke Vardy, technical director of Cygnet Texkimp.

“Our approach will be to partner with our customers in the technical fibre manufacturing market to develop a series of new and novel technologies that offer more capability than ever before.”

Cygnet’s Group Finance Director Bren Hutchinson adds: “The funding from the Textiles Growth Programme has helped us to accelerate our investment in areas where we expect to see most growth in the coming decades, therefore enabling us to grow sales and jobs for Cygnet Texkimp and for our supply chain in the UK sooner than planned.”

Carbon Fibre Specialist to head up new service

Published on March 4th, 2015

High-profile carbon fibre specialist John Davidson has joined machinery manufacturer Cygnet Texkimp, a Cygnet Group company to spearhead the launch of a new service delivering end-to-end processing lines to carbon fibre manufacturers.

Davidson’s appointment signals a new focus for the 40 year-old business, which is the leading manufacturer and supplier of fibre handling technologies in the world, specialising in creels for carbon fibre lines.

He will lead a team of technical and design engineers providing everything from independent advice on plant design and machinery specification to full turnkey oxidation and carbonisation lines. They will source equipment from the whole market and offer a full design, installation, integration, commissioning, training and support service.

“Building a high-performing carbon fibre production plant is hugely challenging in what is a notoriously complex machinery supply market,” explains Davidson, who joins Cygnet Texkimp from Carbon Fibre Technologies International where he has spent the last five years working closely with Italian PAN precursor technology specialist MAE.

“We are teaming decades of expertise in fibre handling and manufacturing with considerable knowledge of the equipment market to provide the highest-quality impartial advice and hands-on support.

“Cygnet Texkimp is the only technology provider that approaches the market from a fibre handling perspective, with a clear commitment to protecting the integrity of the fibre in everything it does. In this way, it embodies the future of carbon fibre production and is an extremely exciting player in the global market.”

Cygnet Texkimp managing director Matthew Kimpton-Smith said: “I’ve known John personally for well over a decade and getting him on board is a great coup for us. His unparalleled experience enables us to target tremendous new opportunities in the carbon fibre market.

“His arrival marks a major milestone on our journey to becoming the global technology partner of choice in the fibre and fabric processing industry, offering a service that is not available elsewhere; delivered and supported by a world-class team.”

Davidson’s career in the industry spans more than 30 years. During this time he has played a leading role in the development of some of the first and largest carbon fibre lines in the world, using designs that have shaped the way carbon fibre is manufactured today. He also led the development of carbon fibre recycling technology and has chaired several international industry meetings and conferences, including the GoCarbonFibre conference.


North West Budget Live

Published on February 26th, 2015

Matthew Kimpton Smith of Cygnet Group speaks at NW Budget Live 2015Cygnet Group Managing Director; Matthew Kimpton-Smith has been confirmed as one of the speakers at the Insider North West Budget Live event on Wednesday 18th March 2015 at Lancashire Cricket Club. 

The event includes live footage of George Osborne delivering his last Budget before the General Election before a panel of economic experts and local business leaders will give their opinions on what the measures mean for business.

Chris Maguire, editor of North West Business Insider will chair the event.

Register your interest to attend with NW Business Insider


Success for Cygnet Group in Greater China Business Awards 2015

Published on February 23rd, 2015

Greater China Bites Seminar 20th Feb 2015 held at The Lowry Salford QuaysCygnet Group was awarded the top accolade at the Greater China Business Awards 2015 on Friday 20th February

The Wincham-based manufacturer won the Business Award alongside joint winner, engineering consultancy Arup, in the annual awards hosted by UK Trade & Investment North West.

Now in its 10th year, the Greater China Business Awards celebrate the companies and organisations that have made the most significant contribution to developing trade or educational links with China.

Cygnet Group, which manufactures machinery to process technical fibres including carbon fibre used in the automotive and aerospace industries, was recognised for its sustained growth in China and its commitment to building long-term trade partnerships in the region. 30 per cent of the company’s UK-manufactured machines are now exported to Chinese customers.

Accepting the award at Friday night’s ceremony at The Lowry theatre in Salford Quays, Matthew Kimpton-Smith said: “China holds massive opportunities for UK businesses like ours if we play to our strengths and take the time to understand and appreciate our cultural differences.

“Our strategy in China has always been to take time to build long-lasting relationships with our customers and this is undoubtedly the key to our success.

“Winning this award is a huge achievement and a reflection of all the hard work our talented and dedicated team invests in supporting our Chinese customers.”

UKTI NW Greater China Awards 2015

Philomena Chen, Head of Asia Pacific Development for UK Trade & Investment North West said “There was an outstanding level of entries for this year’s Greater China Awards, across a wide range of sectors, the 2014 winners are the companies who have showed the most evidence of a commitment to the market and who have successfully expanded their business in mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

“Cygnet has earned the position of supplier of choice with many Chinese customers by working directly with them and building trust.”

Clive Drinkwater, Regional Director for UK Trade & Investment North West, commented: “I am delighted that the Greater China Awards in the North West are still going strong as we reach our tenth anniversary.

“North West exports to Greater China topped £2 billion in 2013, and China is currently the 3rd biggest export market for the North West, yet when the Greater China awards began in 2005 it was not even in the top 10.

“This success reflects the great importance the North West as a region places on Greater China, and the long term rewards and success enjoyed by companies and educational establishments that have invested significant time and effort in furthering their business interests there.”

Cygnet Group & University of Manchester launch Knowledge Transfer Partnership

Published on January 21st, 2015


Luke Vardy Cygnet Group Technical DirectorCygnet Group and The University of Manchester’s School of Materials have secured funding for a two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to advance the production of high-performance composite materials including carbon fibre, for use in the aerospace and automotive industries.

The two organisations will deliver an extensive programme of trials into new manufacturing techniques and materials, as well as developing new process machinery.

“This is a very exciting and significant partnership that forwards our ongoing commitment to lead the market in terms of new processing technology,” said Luke Vardy (left), Technical Director at Cygnet Group

“It gives us valuable access to the academia and expertise of the University’s School of Materials and The Northwest Composites Centre, which is one of the largest and most respected composites centres in the world.

“This sort of investment in new technology is vital to commercialise faster, more efficient and more cost-effective machinery and processes for what is an extremely fast-moving and ambitious industry.

“The fact that we are able to do this here is further testament of the strength and ingenuity of British manufacturing and its considerable influence in the world.”

Professor Walker, Commercial Director at the University’s School of Materials, said: “The partnership puts us on course to develop some highly innovative and marketable solutions for the manufacture of very complex textile composites, which will shape the way motor cars and aeroplanes are built in the future.

“The UK is formidably bright when it comes to invention and innovation, but has a poor track-record of translating ideas into commercial reality, especially when compared to the US for example where inventions are four to five times more likely to be brought to market.

“Teaming up with Cygnet Group enables us to deliver value direct to industry by applying our research to create new technologies that can be commercialised. Our aim is to show how valuable the link between universities and industry can be, not only in shaping the future direction of the international composites market, but in accelerating the fortunes of British manufacturing.”

Interviews will begin later this month to select a recently qualified PhD graduate to lead detailed tests of new manufacturing techniques, parts and raw materials at Cygnet Group’s headquarters in Northwich.

She or he will work closely with the University under the supervision and support of Dr Richard Kennon, Professor Prasad Potluri and Professor Andrew Walker.

The partnership is part-funded by government organisation Innovate UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

To find out more about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, contact Caroline Stanton at The University of Manchester caroline.stanton@manchester.ac.uk or visit www.manchester.ac.uk/business/ke