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Composites Industry News

News for August 2001


Ceramics Process Systems Second Quarter 2001 Results

2nd August 2001 0 comments

Ceramics Process Systems Corporation made a net loss of $204 thousand on revenue of $846 thousand for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2001. This compares with a net income of $70 thousand on revenue of $1.35 million for the fiscal quarter ended July 1, 2000. Grant Bennett, President, said: “”The second quarter was obviously challenging for us, as it was for many manufacturers in the electronics sector due to continuing weak demand. In Q2, customers continued to place prototype and evaluation orders for new products, but generally delayed placing production orders, or delayed releasing shipments on production orders. However, towards the end of Q2 we received several new production orders and early in Q3 certain customers began releasing shipments which were previously on hold.”” CPS develops, manufactures and markets advanced metal-matrix composites for housing and providing thermal management of high-density electronics. The Company’s products are primarily used in high-density microprocessor assemblies, wireless basestations, motor controllers, and satellite communications.

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Klaus Blickle To Head Technology focus for ASC Incorporated

2nd August 2001 0 comments

Dr. Klaus Blickle has been named Chief Technology Officer of ASC Incorporated. Blickle was previously President and CEO of Cosworth Technology, a subsidiary of Audi AG. “”Blickle’s outstanding record of engineering management and strategic planning will have a tremendous impact on ASC’s worldwide engineering strategy,”” said Larry Doyle, CEO of ASC. “”ASC is moving forward with its plan to build a specialty vehicle and systems engineering solutions company that is second to none.”” “”This appointment is significant to the company’s increased emphasis on technological advancement and engineering,”” said David Treadwell, chairman of ASC. “”Blickle is an important addition to our strategic leadership team. He brings tremendous focus and depth of engineering expertise to ASC.”” Blickle will spearhead engineering activities within ASC worldwide. He will lead technical and engineering-related programs and strategies for ASC Engineering Services, ASC Vehicle Technologies and Triad Services Group. I see an excellent opportunity to combine world-class engineering solutions with ASC’s capabilities in concept development and manufacturing to create a premier global company for specialty vehicle development and build,”” said Blickle. ASC Incorporated is a global specialty vehicle and systems company providing automotive and specialty vehicle design, engineering, prototype and production services; manufacturing and distribution of open-air systems, composite products and exterior trim; and development and distribution of aftermarket vehicle accessories. Headquartered in Southgate, ASC maintains operations throughout the U.S. and Canada, and in Germany and Korea. ASC’s family of companies includes ASC Creative Services, ASC Vehicle Technologies, ASC Specialty Vehicles, ASC Engineering Services, ASC Composite Systems, ASC Exterior Technologies, ASC Aftermarket Products and Triad Services Group. They employ more than 3,500 people in over 30 facilities, and have annual sales of over $500 million.

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Advanced Technical Products’ Second Quarter Results

2nd August 2001 0 comments

Advanced Technical Products, a producer of advanced composite structures and chemical and biological defense systems, today reported revenues from continuing operations for the quarter ended June 29, 2001 were $52.08 million compared to $44.71 million in 2000, an increase of 16.5%. Net income from continuing operations for the second quarter of 2001 was $3.35 million compared to $1.57 million for the second quarter of 2000, an increase of 113.4%. During the second quarter, the Company completed the sale of the operations of its Alcore division. As a result, an additional charge of $1.38 million was made to discontinued operations. Since the beginning of the second quarter, ATP’s Marion Composites has been awarded a $22 million contract from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company to produce composite airframe parts for the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor. Marion Composites also received a contract as a new supplier of nose radomes for the Boeing 747-400, 757 and Next Generation 737 airplane programs. Additionally, Marion Composites was awarded a contract by FIAR S.p.A. of Milan, Italy for fighter aircraft nose radomes. Advanced Technical Products, Inc.’s divisions include Intellitec, Lincoln Composites, Lunn Industries and Marion Composites. The Company’s products are used in a variety of applications in the aerospace and defense industries, as well as commercial markets. ATP designs, develops, and manufactures high- performance radomes, aircraft components, rocket motor cases, pressure vessels, fuel tanks, shelter systems and other advanced composite products utilizing various production capabilities. The Company is also a leader in the design, development and manufacture of biological and chemical detection and protection systems. ATP also designs and manufactures electronic products for the specialty vehicle market.

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Specialty Additives Represent the Key to Product Performance

2nd August 2001 0 comments

Polymer composites produced from natural fiber and wood fiber/flour are growing at significant double-digit rates, and represent one of the major areas of growth for plastics additives today. The market for polymer-wood composites reached over 700 million lbs. in North America in 2000 and is projected by Principia Partners to nearly triple in size during the next decade. In turn, this growth will lead to increased demand for the nearly $100 million additives segment of this market. Use of specialty additives for natural fiber-based and wood composites is still in the infancy stage. Formulation enhancements are required to significantly increase performance and improve throughput and cost economics for these composites, and performance enhancing additives will expand their market acceptance and share. The specific materials and amount of additives required to sufficiently stabilize and improve these natural composites are still under development and evaluation by the industry. “”Many of the major plastics additive suppliers are seeking to serve this market segment, and require a greater understanding of the formulation needs and changing technical requirements among composite producers,”” according to Lou Rossi, a principal at Principia Partners. “”Composite producers will look to specialty additives to improve product performance and manufacturing efficiencies. This study will address all major additive types, including compatibilizers, impact modifiers, heat stabilizers, lubricants, colorants, UV inhibitors, and, of course, wood fiber/flour and crop fiber, used in this product segment.”” The advances in additive technology and likely winners in each type of additive category is the subject of a new report titled Specialty Additives in Natural Fiber and Wood Composites, North America-2001. The study is the third detailed analysis assessing various developments in the polymer-wood composites industry by Principia Partners, the Exton, PA-based market research and business consulting firm. The study results will be available by early December 2001.

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Investigation of Joints for a Modular Composite Bridge

2nd August 2001 0 comments

The U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) is planning to award a research and development contract on a sole-source basis to Seemann Composite Inc. for the investigation of joints for a modular composite bridge. This effort is a follow-on procurement to Phase II of the Composite Army Bridge (CAB) program that was awarded by DARPA in 1996. SCI is the only source who has successfully demonstrated the ability to develop incremental technology leading to a full-scale composite army bridge capable of sustaining heavy vehicles using the Seemann Composite Resin Infusion Molding Process (SCRIMP). The focus of this Cost-Plus-Fixed-Fee (CPFF) contract is to advance the CAB technology through the development of joints/connections in the bridge components. This effort will include a base award with an option. The base effort will include the investigation of various joints that can meet a variety of requirements for sectionalized composite military bridging applications for rapidly employed, medium weight traffic. This base phase will involve feasibility and trade-off analyses to determine optimum joint designs and manufacturing approaches, manufacturing and testing coupons and sub-scale and full-scale samples. The option will include the design, manufacture, delivery, and testing of up to two full scale demonstrators using selected joints/connections.

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Brazil: BASF and Dow plan new plant in Bahia

2nd August 2001 0 comments

The joint venture comprised by Dow and BASF intends to have a meeting with Odebrecht-Mariani consortium to discuss about the construction of a new industrial unit in Camacari complex (Bahia). The plant will demand US$250mil to produce 500,000 m tons/year of styrene.

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Carbon Fiber 2001 Conference

2nd August 2001 0 comments

Intertech’s fourth international business development conference titled – “The Global Outlook for Carbon Fiber 2001”- will be held at La Cité Mondiale Centre de Congres at the Libertel Claret Hotel — Bordeaux, FRANCE on 16-18 October 2001. The Conference Co-Chairs for 2001 are Jens Hinrichsen, Director-Structures, EADS Airbus, Large Aircraft Division and Dan Pichler, Business Unit Chairman, SGL Technic, Inc. In addition, one optional interactive pre-conference seminar, “A Geographic Comparison of Carbon Fiber Composite Markets,” conducted by Charles L. Segal, Director, Omnia, L.L.C. and Steve Loud, Editor, Composites Worldwide is currently scheduled for October 16. Another Pre-conference seminar on new manufacturing technology is also planned. This conference will bring together carbon fiber manufacturers with composite industry executives and technologists to explore the role of carbon fiber in the composites industry and the outlook for growth, supply and demand of carbon fibers. Attendees will receive a complete briefing on market trends by region and sector; new technologies; and trends in end-use markets with significant near-term growth potential. Conference sessions are being designed to maximize contact and the flow of information between producers and end-users, and promotional efforts will be focused on the goal of maximizing international participation in the conference. The Bordeaux location has been selected to assure convenience of travel for attendees from Europe, the U.S. and Asia, and to provide access for overseas visitors to the key French composite producers in the region, such as EADS Launch Vehicles (Aerospatiale), EADS Composites Aquitaine, Dassault, EADS Airbus and SNECMA SEP. Delegates will focus on the use of carbon fiber in aerospace and commercial aircraft, infrastructure, deepwater oil platforms, transportation and energy applications. How are these applications being successfully converted into commercial practice? What has the most effect: price, installed cost, standardization, or innovative design and manufacturing improvements? This international meeting will provide an objective, comprehensive forum to discuss new developments for carbon fibers in emerging markets, such as wind energy, transportation and fuel cells, as well as in traditional markets, such as aerospace and sporting goods. Discussions will focus on methods to streamline manufacturing costs in aerospace and large tow use in commercial applications. Speaker recruitment for the 2001 conference is now underway. To submit a topic for consideration, or for more information and/or to request a conference brochure with complete information on speakers, sessions, hotel arrangements, etc., please contact Scott Stephenson at Intertech Conferences, 19 Northbrook Drive, Portland, Maine 04105 USA. Tel: +1 (207) 781-9800, Fax: +1 (207) 781-2150

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GPRMC (European Composites Industry Association) Updates

2nd August 2001 0 comments

As far as FRP waste management is concerned the European composites industry is at this moment at a very critical stage. This is because EU legislation (and especially the new directives on landfill and ELV) pushes industry away from landfill and energy recovery towards mechanical recycling or reuse, and because customers (especially in the automotive and electric/electronic field) are asking the industry for its composite waste management concept. Customers now ask component suppliers to sign that they accept the responsibility for recycling the end-of life waste. But a signature is not enough. On top of that buyers should also asks their composite component suppliers to become actively involved in FRP waste management, and buy only from those component suppliers that recycle FRP waste. The FRP waste problem is not solved because 1° the existing composite recycling companies turn at very low capacity and 2° quite a lot of new markets for FRP recyclate must still be found and developed before one can really recycle most of the FRP waste that is produced today. According to the working group president the following points are necessary: 1° proof that the work we do on recycling and waste management is important, 2° commitment from the final customer that he wants recycling, 3° penalties for free riding companies that do not contribute, 4° cost sharing and 5° exchange of information amongst participants, 6° commitment from FRP producers themselves: The composites manufacturers themselves must take the responsibility to develop markets for FRP recyclate. Commitment from the FRP producers can be realised by creating a GPRMC “”green FRP recycling label”” which tells customers that companies carrying the label participate actively in the development of FRP waste management and recycling. The net income generated from the label (after deducting GPRMC’s costs) should be used to develop FRP recycling (e.g. to pay for R&D work in order to develop markets for the recyclate). A task force will further develop the label idea. During its meeting in Copenhagen the Health, Safety, Food and Drinking Water Contact Working Group decided that the chapter about ‘styrene exposure in FRP manufacturing’ in the first draft of the Styrene Risk Assessment report had to be completely rewritten because it was exclusively based on old data. It is important that GPRMC tries to include in the final version a lot of ‘realistic up-to-date data’ about worker exposure to styrene from as many countries as possible, and covering as many modern FRP manufacturing techniques as possible. The national associations need full co-operation from their members upon collecting these data. Just as he did during previous meetings the GPRMC secretary general drew once again the attention to a whole series of products falling under the so-called harmonised directives that require obligatory CE marking and involve a lot of CEN standardisation. During the meeting the working group members went together through the list of the involved 21 harmonised directive groups and came to the conclusion that the composites industry is involved in most of them. A lot of work has to be done by the companies involved in order to be ready to obtain the required obligatory CE marking, without which companies will be no longer allowed to sell on the European market after the so-called transition period. The EU composites industry is paying too little attention to CE marking. Given that GPRMC (European Composites Industry Association) was created on 14 November 1960 the Management Committee celebrated the 40th anniversary of GPRMC. In comparison with 1960 a lot has changed. Europe is almost like one big country: one single market with the Euro as common currency, common CEN standards, and more and more harmonised European legislation decided upon by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. Because today most basic decisions are made at European level all larger composite manufacturers should give more support to the European Composites Industry Association GPRMC, which represents their interests at European level. Companies wanting to sponsor GPRMC can find a sponsor ship reply form on the GPRMC web site Composite manufacturers wanting additional information are kindly requested to contact their national association. A list of the national GPRMC member associations can be found on the GPRMC web site

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Hexcel Appoints New Chairman and CEO

2nd August 2001 0 comments

David E. Berges has been appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hexcel Corporation. He succeeds John J. Lee who passed away in May of this year. Mr. Berges, age 51, leaves his position as President of Honeywell’s Automotive Products Group, a unit with $2 billion in sales. Mr. Berges has extensive experience in aerospace, automotive and industrial markets. Prior to his present position, he served as Vice President of Honeywell’s (AlliedSignal) Aerospace Engine Systems and Accessories business. Martin L. Solomon, speaking on behalf of Hexcel’s Board of Directors said, “”We are very pleased to have David taking the helm as Hexcel’s CEO; his leadership experiences in industries in which we operate will be a significant plus for Hexcel.”” Hexcel Corporation is a leading advanced structural materials company. It designs, manufactures and markets lightweight, high reinforcement products, composite materials and engineered products for use in commercial aerospace, space and defense, electronics, general industrial, and recreation applications.

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Next Generation of Wind Turbine for Home Power

2nd August 2001 0 comments

Aeromax has introduced a new land wind turbine generator, the Aeromag Lakota, which employs new carbon fiber blade technology that significantly improves power output at a greatly reduced cost. “”This system is now available for small and large users at a very reasonable price point,”” said Lexington Bartlett, president and chief executive officer of Aeromax. “”The Lakota provides quieter, more efficient and more economical operations than have ever been available on the market before.”” Aeromag Lakota are outfitted with uni-directional carbon fiber blades. Recent Aeromag blade technology advancements and breakthroughs have significantly reduced the cost of the wind turbine generator. Competitive testing results show conventional wind turbines are 25 percent to 164 percent higher priced from a cost per watt perspective at rated power (turbine vs. turbine). At Lakota peak power rating of 1400 watts, the difference is 78 percent to 252 percent. Aeromax is the exclusive distributor of the Aeromag (a sister corporation) advanced small wind turbine systems. Small wind turbines are widely used in home and village power, wind and solar hybrid systems that enable a greatly reduced cost of energy and a substantial advance in the lessening of dependence on fossil fuels.

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