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Fiberforge Wins Contract to Produce 20,000 Composite Backpack Frames

10 July 2008

Fiberforge Corporation has started production of a new military backpack frame sheet for Mystery Ranch, LLC.

Mystery Ranch is a leading producer of high performance survival packs, assault packs and ultra-light packs used by military and law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Prior to using Fiberforge, Mystery Ranch was fabricating the frame sheet from polyethylene, fabric and aluminium. The polyethylene provided structure and flexibility, while the aluminium ‘stays’, which were inserted into fabric sleeves, provided stiffness. The part, while functional, was heavy and was labour intensive to produce. The Fiberforge part, made with unidirectional glass fibre-reinforced thermoplastic, is 43% lighter that the part it replaced, and is made as a single stamped part with ribs formed into it for stiffness. Fiberforge produces the part in just 70 seconds; versus the 10-12 minute production time it took Mystery Ranch to make the original frame sheet.

Dana Gleason, founder and president of Mystery Ranch, says, “We are extremely happy with the Fiberforge parts. Not only are they significantly lighter weight and more functional for our customers, but they are actually more cost competitive and have saved us significant labour expense.”

Fiberforge is producing the frame adjusters out of Glass/PET-PU (Polyethylene Terephthalate blended with Polyurethane) in 70 seconds per part. Mystery Ranch originally ordered 10,000 parts; but, the backpack frame sheets have been so well received in the market place that Mystery Ranch has increased their order to over 20,000 units and are using them in more of their pack models.

“The Mystery Ranch backpack frame sheets represent a very practical use of advanced thermoplastic composites, and take full advantage of the cost benefits of the Fiberforge process,” says Tina Ogburn, Operations Manager of Fiberforge Corporation. “We are excited to be in full production and to be able to offer all the benefits of the Fiberforge technology to Mystery Ranch.”