This year, 13 companies and their partners will receive innovation awards at JEC Europe – Composites Show and Conferences, March 27-29, 2012.
According to JEC, the program was created in 1998 with the goal of promoting innovation and it reveals, each year, the composite novelties that will change tomorrow’s world.
JEC President & CEO Frédérique Mutel explains “Europe is leader in manufacturing. JEC Group is the international observatory of what is happening in terms of innovation in the composites market. Speaking of Europe, the main effort is in automated manufacturing. Automation is key to the European composites industry. For instance in 2010-2011, 52% of all composites patents in Europe focused on process innovations. This is the highest rate in the whole world. USA and Japan are respectively at a rate of 23% and Japan 16%. China for its part, focuses on primary materials innovation. The 2012 JEC Awards Europe illustrates this trend.”
The 2012 JEC Awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 27 at 5:00pm at JEC Europe and will be open to all visitors. JEC say the 2012 Innovation Awards competition is actively supported by UMECO, Aviation Week, Innovation & Industrie and JEC Magazine.
JEC describe the main trends for the 2012 Innovation Awards:
- Carbon fibre developed at all levels –
According to JEC, the rapid development of this material leads to two other advances, namely the need to develop processes for repairing carbon parts and to recycle these fibres rather than land filling or burning them. Two companies and their partners are rewarded for their use of carbon in the automotive sector, providing weight reduction, anti corrosion features, affordable bespoke design for new vehicle architectures, low tooling costs, etc. to name a few.
- Simulation to enhance prediction in terms of performance and cost of the final product –
“Composites research budgets, either academic or industrial are expanding at rates substantially higher than before” says Frédérique Mutel, President and CEO of JEC Group. Thus, software is more and more commonly used towards the overall productivity of an entire process rather than just a specific phase. Moreover, they happen to be crucial in the simulation of the strength of parts using new and faster calculation methods. JEC explain the designers of parts and processes will certainly appreciate the rapid evolution of simulation.
They say the use of Simulation is well demonstrated in the Aeronautics sector where lasers are exploited to generate and detect ultrasonic waves in composite materials. JEC say that this innovation has the potential to lower inspection costs by up to a factor of 10 and is beneficial in a technical and production point of view.
TruPLAN’s advanced material kinematics kernel models a given material’s ability to simultaneously comply with design criteria and manufacturing constraints.
- Forging a bright future with sustainable innovations…
JEC explain how the pursued interests for biocomposites have lead them to create a specific category for this type of material. Protecting the environment is also one of tomorrow exciting challenge for the industry. Kompetenzzentrum Holz, Wood K Plus has created a new composites material 100% based on renewable resources.
On the same page, an award will be handed to the Recycling process of waste carbon fibre from various processing technologies to develop yarns, tapes and fabrics.
- Transportation in the heart of composites growth…
JEC say that every transportation sectors from Aeronautics to Automotive and from Railway to Marine are using composites to improve their production. Among the many advantages of using composites materials, we can highlight corrosion and acoustic isolation or thermic and electric isolation, but the critical benefit will be weight reduction that will reduce significantly CO² emissions.
Almost one third of the Innovation Awards will be handed to companies working in the transportation sectors.
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