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Global searchlight markets broaden opportunities

Stephen Campbell’s passion is boats, which is what his Melbourne company, Composite Constructions, is known for.Steve Campbell with sample from Trakkacorp searchlight

Over the past seven years, however, Stephen (pictured at right) has been building the foundations to diversify into new local and global markets.

The opportunity literally came knocking on his Moorabbin factory door – the engineering manager for local company Trakkacorp wanted to know if Stephen was interested in building the mounting components for their high intensity helicopter searchlights.

With Trakkacorp’s eyes on the global police, military, and search and rescue markets, they had to meet the strict certification standards required of aviation companies such as Airbus.

For Mr Campbell, it meant building rigorous processes that ensured high tolerance to specifications and traceability to gain ISO 9001 certification, confirming that the components are built to the Australian 9001 aircraft standard. The Federal Government’s Enterprise Connect Tailored Advisory Service assisted.

“I virtually reverse engineered the process, designing and building the method and developing custom programs to meet the standards,” said Stephen.

The work was a small, but essential, component of the three years of work Trakkacorp put into meeting the stringent criteria to gain serial production qualification from Airbus Helicopters in Germany for its Trakka A800 searchlight. The approval opens the market to sell to operators of Airbus’s EC135, EC145 and EC175. The searchlight was already type certified for Airbus’s EC155 and EC225 helicopters.

Composite Constructions’ ability to meet the standards has opened the doors to other manufacturers so that the searchlight is the preferred solution for the Agusta helicopters and standard fit on the Bell 429 and 525.

Based on the Trakkacorp’s rudimentary conceptual mock-up of the searchlight mountings, Stephen made the moulds for the production process, which is based on GURIT’s Sprint prepreg fabric.

While production of the searchlight components is not at full capacity, Stephen’s diversification plan is well underway. Aside from the core marine business, he and his staff are manufacturing drivers’ doors for Melbourne trams, components for high performance racing cars, and high-end entertainment speaker consoles.

Armed with the quality assurance standard, the scope for new work has broadened.

More information

Composite Constructions – visit www.compositeconstructions.com.au 

Trakkacorp – visit www.trakkacorp.com