06 May 2014
06 May 2014
EPL is collaborating with Cytec Industrial Materials to develop a unique robotic process for manufacturing low cost, structural thermoplastic composite components.
According to ELP, the venture aims to deliver a step change in process speed, waste levels and material performance necessary to make thermoplastic components cost viable to a wider audience of industrial end users.
EPL explains the 3-year programme is now entering the final stages of its first year. To date, the project has established a UK thermoplastic materials supply chain, procured candidate materials and engaged a UK co-mingling facility for trials. Novel robotic ancillaries for hybrid thermoplastic processing are currently under development and are planned for a first practical trial next quarter. This will lead to the formation of the UK’s first prototype manufacturing facility of this type.
Within the AMSCI CiC programme, EPL says it is also developing solutions to tackle a key barrier to entry for companies wishing to develop new thermoplastic components – namely the high cost of initial prototypes. This project is targeted at end users from new industry areas who would like to evaluate their components in thermoplastics before committing to expensive processing.