For low volumes we supply Lotus assemblies for use in client vehicles or offer the manufacture of lightweight assemblies at flexible facilities with a range of tooling methods. We can offer a design and development service.
Lotus Lightweight Structures Ltd (LLS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lotus Cars Ltd independently trading from its head office in Worcester.
The 8,000 m2 facility in Worcester houses the major manufacturing processes including final assembly of its different product offerings and is capable of delivering up to 10,000 automotive chassis frames per annum as well as a multitude of minor parts and sub assemblies.
Additionally, LLS operates its own high quality structural anodising plant from a 5,000 m2 facility in Wellingborough. The facility is capable of anodising 400,000 m2 per annum and also acts as a logistics co-ordination hub for key customers
The facilities were founded over 10 years ago to serve automotive customers requiring lightweight niche volume vehicle structures based on bonded aluminium technologies.
Since then the business has diversified and serves a wide market including solar, electric vehicle and aerospace industries. LLS enjoys a diverse customer base from premium automotive, major OEMs and emerging start up businesses delivering not only bonded aluminium products but any thing from component surface treatments (anodised parts) to final assembly of full vehicles.
- 10 off CNC machine tools (3,4 & % axis) producing extruded aluminium components for integration into structures
- 3 off Robotic MIG welding cells and manual TIG.
- Structural aluminium anodising line producing up to 5 flight bars per hour capable of surface treating cast, sheet and extruded alloys
- Climate controlled clean room assembly facility with robotic adhesive application, assembly tooling, curing ovens and self piercing fastening systems
- Full metrology capability with 4 automated CMMs up to full vehicle scale
- Electric vehicle conversion facility with vehicle ramps, material marshalling, test and buy off capability
- Engineering and process capability enabling project management, process development and product design
- Quality accreditation to ISO TS 16949
- Supply chain management including procurement, supplier management and logistics
Lotus Lightweight Structures Ltd has delivered the following products to its customers:
- Bonded aluminium space frames for the automotive industry (50,000+)
- Space frames for solar arrays
- Seat frames for aircraft
- Crash structures for high volume automotive OEMs
- Space frame components
- Aluminium surface pre-treatment for structures & sun roof applications
- Vehicle assembly/conversion for the electric vehicle market
- Prototype space frames for electric vehicles
LLS has a highly flexible and integrated approach to delivering its product range. This is supported by close working partnerships with strategic suppliers with strong track record of delivery. It can provide a ‘one stop shop’ of product delivery from concept through engineering, production and post production services.
The foundation technology of bonded aluminium has a number of critical advantages:
- In comparison to welding there is no heat affected zone
- Joints can tolerate dimensional variances
- Dissimilar materials can be joined (eg Alloy to composite)
- Joint surfaces/designs can ensure maximum strength
- Relatively low budget tooling and set costs
- Short lead time to first prototypes