Here's the carbonology.com story! The team here at carbonology.com have been working in the composites industry for coming up for 15 years - and worked on specific aerospace composites projects back as far as 1989! Between us we have worked in aircraft workshops, boat yards, mast makers and race car builders - and just about everything in between at some time or other!
In 2003, we took the plunge and started Integra Composites Ltd as a manufacturer of composite parts, making race car parts and sports equipment and some marine projects. Back then, even though we had a great deal of technical knowledge and engineering training, the full spectrum of composites engineering was still developing (as it still is!) and we figured out a lot of stuff as we went along - borrowing ideas from the marine, aerospace and automotive worlds. We were good at making small runs of parts (and some quite large runs of parts!) but it became apparent by the large number of requests we received from individuals that found us one way or another that there was no easy place to get hold of small pieces of carbon or carbon products to make prototypes, models, short runs of parts or one-offs. We looked into it a bit and found that most big material suppliers have a minimum order quantity that is way above the individuals requirements - and as you would expect, the big players are chasing down the larger and larger projects and are not really interested if you call up and want a half metre of tube or whatever! Well, we were always happy to oblige and started to gain a rep in our local area for cutting off small amounts of fabric and sheet for small projects and we could only see the requirements from individuals increasing.
Alongside our busy production cells, our amateur mail order business was clumsy and difficult to keep track of - then in Autumn 2005 something odd happened - turnover from the mail order stuff started to exceed our production output. We had a tiger by the tail and something needed to be done! We looked at the internet and decided we needed to build a specific composites shop - not a chat room or a forum, or a magazine that pretends to be a resource, but then fails to deliver - we wanted a shop that says the second you arrive 'This is a SHOP where you can buy carbon fibre and composite materials' We've stuck to our guns on this and from the feedback we've had from our customers and visitors, they like it too! Well - the best business advice we ever had was 'Be Bold' - so once we'd sat down and figured out a new business plan, and figured out a few problems, we sold off our production contracts and went for it... The only thing we were short of was a name. We had a shareholders meeting to discuss the new project and one of our shareholders just said - 'It needs to be an 'OLOGY' maybe something like 'carbonology'... ' Who says no great idea ever came from a committee meeting!
Well, invested in the website build, put in a back office system to be able to track orders from the second they are placed until they are delivered to the customer, we set up our web security system and pressed the 'Go' button in December 2005 - and carbonology.com was born... and we've never looked back. SO that's the history lesson - what about the future??
Well, we're privately funded and managed and are very proud of what we do. We are constantly updating the site, making it safer and slicker to use, installing higher encryption standards to make sure your transactions with us are safe and secure, and we're always looking for new products - and that means on average we add about 10 new products every month. We hope to be here supplying you with these super high tech materials for a very long time to come and hope you like using the site as much as we like running it.
How are carbonology different?
1. We stock an enormous range of composite products - and use them in our own projects, so we really know what we're talking about.
2. Our products are competitively priced and available in convenient sizes to match your project needs and keep waste to a minimum. - Our repair kit range is designed from our own knowledge to fix the stuff we have all broken!
3. Your payment card details are fully encrypted, and deleted from our system immediately after your order has been paid for - and we only process your payment when your order is packed and ready for despatch,
4. Our STANDARD UK Despatch Service uses Royal Mail 1st Class, and you'll find our prices for despatch are as low as we can get them! Orders too large or heavy for regular mail are despatched by overnight courier (FedEx) for a competitive fixed fee.
We are now proud not only to supply material to individual customers and commercial clients, but now are one of the UK's leading composites training companies and Expert Consultants to the UK Dti.
Should you have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.