RocTool Grants Exclusive License to Novation

08 April 2005

RocTool has signed an exclusive agreement with sports manufacturer Novation, specialist in providing composite sports shoes and accessories. Details of the collaboration were presented earlier this week at the JEC show in Paris, with RocTool also picking up another JEC Innovation Award in the Energy and Industry Category.

One year after the creation of the RocTool Cage System, the ""ultra quick composite transformation process using inductive heating"", RocTool have signed a new accord with Novation (formally Bauer- Italia), one of the leading manufacturers of sport shoes (soccer, cycling, ice hockey, ski…) and sports accessories made with composites.

Novation (formally Bauer- Italia which also used to be part of the Nike Group) are already in the composites business, making thermoset sports shoe parts. The company however, now see a big future in the use of thermoplastics, and discovered RocTool's cage system as a viable system for developing new thermoplastic parts for growing markets such as Asia.

The five year exclusive license grants Novation use of its patented cage system process for the fabrication of composite shoe soles inserts, football boots and heal supports for the sport and safety shoe markets.

“The Cage System is a very promising technology for the mass production of composite pieces due to the reduction of production time (cycle time/minute). The technology will allow us to broaden our selection of sport shoes and accessories, as well as developing the safety shoe market,’’ says Leo Sartor, general manager of Novation.

“After our connections with material manufacturers, this is our first agreement with a transformer, who is one of the leading manufacturers in its market. Our agreements extend to all actors in the composite market from now on,” emphasizes Alex Guichard, RocTool CEO. “Considering our results and different contacts, the Cage System should become a reference in the composite industry within the next three to five years,” says Alex Guichard.

The RocTool demonstration at the JEC show produced a shoe sole template produced from a range of materials from polypropylene to aramid, and Matt Boulanger from RocTool confirmed that the contract was not limited to any particular kind of material. Production will start in the next 6 months with various prototypes being developed with Nike and other manufacturers already interested in receiving products.

Novation suggested that the main appeal of the Roctool system was the large reduction in cycle time, which will reduce current production methods from around 15-18 minutes to between 50 seconds and 3 minutes with the RocTool cage system (dependant on the material).

Supported by private and institutional shareholders since its creation in the year 2000, RocTool has chosen to invest 70% of its budget in R&D in order to reinforce its know-how and its patents in the composite sector. The company of fifteen, situated at the Bourget du Lac in France, also has an office in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) and has just achieved its first profits at the beginning of this year.

After having been winners at the 2001 JEC Composites Awards, RocTool was awarded once again in the 2005 JEC Composites Awards industry category for its intelligent anti-intrusion shell.

The anti-intrusion composite shell developed by Roctool (F) and Upstart Ingénierie (F). consists of a shell in composite material that provides mechanical protection. The assembly becomes a capacitor whose capacitance value is read by an electronic circuit. Any attempt to intrude (by blows, cutting, or flame) results in a specific identifiable signal that sets off an alarm. The detection takes place over the entire surface of the composite. The manufacturing method is simple, and can be used for mass production. A wide range of potential applications in banks, shops, museums, the defence sector, etc.

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