The range of products and components it produces
is as diverse as the industries it serves.
Everything from light aircraft and industrial
tanks to caravans, boats and composite
components for the Royal Australian Navy’s
Collins Class submarines. It has also been
active in producing specialist
such as the Mobile Intensive Rescue
Facility (MIRF) and the Mansell Neocot.
Manufactured and marketed by the BAC
Group, the Mansell Neocot is a lightweight,
life-support system that has been developed
to safely transport newly born babies, some
weighing less than one kilo
(2.2 lb.) from a
trauma point to an appropriate hospital by
ambulance, aircraft or helicopter.
Key features of the Neocot include a patented
electric lift mechanism and two independent battery back-up systems that provide 90 minutes of ‘walk time’. The range of ‘on board’ medical equipment includes an electric ventilator, syringe pumps, oxygen and the other systems necessary to monitor the baby’s well being.
Engineered sandwich composites based
on Divinycell cores are used for the main
body of the Neocot in order to provide lightweight,
high-strength performance. During
the test program the unit survived a 62 kph
(38.5 mph) crash test that equates to a longitudinal
force of 20 g. The Neocot is aviation and
safety certified to ISO and FAR standards.
Another benefit of using sandwich composites
is that they offer good thermal insulation
properties. In the case of the Neocot,
the internal temperature needs to be maintained
at a constant 37°C (98.6°F).
In order to achieve the required level of
dimensional accuracy, the Neocot body is
produced using an RTM Lite process. First
the core is CNC-milled to achieve the tight
tolerances and to accommodate a variety of
inserts. Then the core, reinforcements and inserts
are loaded into the mould and the component
is infused. This approach eliminates
the problems associated with post-drilling.
Currently more than 30 Mansell Neocots
are in service throughout Australia and the
concept has attracted widespread interest
from health and rescue organizations around
the world. In particular, hospitals and
retrieval services in both Sweden and Norway
have already adopted the system.