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Composites Industry News

News for July 2009


EATC Launch New Website

16th July 2009 0 comments

On the first of July the new EATC-website was launched, with a new structure and a new Recent Posts area with current information on thermoplastic composites. The European Alliance for Thermoplastic Composites (EATC) was formed in 2000 by leading European companies, with a concerted commitment to the technological advancement of long fibre reinforced thermoplastics over the complete product chain: system suppliers, moulders / parts producers, producers of semi-finished products, raw material suppliers, institutes. The EATC is an expert task force of the AVK (Federation of Reinforced Plastics). The members of the European Alliance for Thermoplastic Composites (EATC) serves the industry with innovative and economic components and systems, realized with long fibre reinforced thermoplastics.

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Thermoset Composites Handle Heavy Load-Bearing Applications.

16th July 2009 0 comments

Designed for load-bearing applications in ships, metal-rolling mills, and off-road construction equipment, Norplex-Micarta BR60 and BR70 laminates are intended to perform under continuous water exposure without losing strength. They consist of multiple plies of heavy-weight canvas cloth saturated with a phenolic resin system, modified disulfide, which provides internal lubrication to reduce frictional heat generation and wear of metal shafts on bearing. These composites are specifically designed for heavy load-bearing applications in ships, metal-rolling mills, and off-road construction equipment.

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O-Tek Takes Control of the Brazilian Company Newsan

16th July 2009 0 comments

The Colombian O-Tek, from the conglomerate Inversiones Mundial, has incorporated Newsan, a company from Brazil specialized in piping rehabilitation.

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Amber Composites Launches Own Line of Consumables

16th July 2009 0 comments

Amber Composites has launched a new line of consumable products for vacuum bagging in oven curing, autoclave and infusion processes. New products include breather, release films, vacuum bags, and quick fitting/release vacuum fittings. The new consumable line is more cost-effective and complements Amber Composite’s full range of high-performance prepreg and other composite materials for master, tool and part-making. It marks another step forward in Amber’s drive to offer the composites market complete material solutions from design to volume production. The new line is available on a just-in-time basis and sample packs are readily available.

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Quickstep Signs MoU with Malaysia's CTRM

16th July 2009 0 comments

Quickstep has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM), the Malaysian-based manufacturer of composite components for Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The agreement signed in the presence of senior Airbus executives, sees the two organisations agreeing to work together to fast-track the evaluation and certification of Quickstep’s Out-of-Autoclave manufacturing technology with a view to introducing it to CTRM’s manufacturing facility based in Melaka Malaysia, as soon as possible. Both parties are focused on the quick and efficient qualification of parts from CTRM’s major customer, Airbus, for use on the new generation A350 aircraft, or other aircraft so that CTRM can commence production of parts in the shortest possible timeframe. CTRM has agreed to introduce the Quickstep technology to the Airbus network and other aircraft manufacturers. As the fifth largest supplier of composite parts to Airbus worldwide, CTRM brings aerospace industry know-how and commercial connections to assist in facilitating the certification of a flying composite part. Quickstep brings its technology, know-how and expertise in Out-of-Autoclave composite processing. CTRM, which employs over 1,200 people, is currently expanding its manufacturing facilities to service an order book which currently stands at RM2.8 billion (A$1 billion). Quickstep’s CEO, Mr Philippe Odouard, said the two companies had agreed to work collaboratively to fast-track the process of certification of the Quickstep Process manufactured part onto a commercial aircraft and then to introduce parts into production, as well as to consider other areas where the two groups might work together. “This arrangement complements our existing portfolio of global alliances and strong relationships with major global aerospace companies including the EADS Group, as well as Tier One manufacturers and suppliers to these organisations,” Mr Odouard said. “We will work closely with CTRM to apply the Quickstep Process to the commercial production of aerospace parts, in particular for the Airbus A350 Program, which because of its high usage of composites, is one of the key drivers of the forecast expansion of demand for composite components,” Mr Odouard commented. The CTRM program is due to attain part-validation by the fourth Quarter of 2009.

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Scott Bader Launches New Adhesives, Composites and Specialty Polymers Website

16th July 2009 0 comments

Scott Bader has launched its new website which covers the range of products and services offered by the Adhesives, Composites and Specialty Polymers business units globally. The new site has been designed to be clear and easy for visitors to find out about the Group’s principal business activities and market leading brand names, its 86 year history and unique company philosophy, plus the extensive charitable activities of the Scott Bader Commonwealth Trust. The site contains key information and downloads covering: products, markets, technical data sheets, R & D activities and new Innovations, as well as Scott Bader’s locations, distribution partners around the world. In addition, the new site includes general industry information about the Environment, Health & Safety, REACH and links to organisations such as Plastics Europe and Postgraduate university research bodies involved in innovation partnerships are also provided.

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SPE Automotive Composites Conference Condenses Program

16th July 2009 0 comments

The SPE Automotive Composites Conference & Exhibition (SPE ACCE) will be shortened from three days to two this year in response to deteriorating conditions in the global automotive industry, which have led to much tighter travel and budget restrictions.

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Red Bull finds a Winning Formula with JETCAM

16th July 2009 0 comments

In 2008 Red Bull Technology decided to replace their existing flat bed knife cutter with two Zund knife cutters, one with a conveyor bed, as well as evaluating CAM systems. According to Andy Bosworth, Production Coordinator; “We ran a series of benchmark comparisons and JETCAM had the lowest scrap rate and highest efficiency on material, with nests at least 16% more efficiently than our current nests. It was also recommended by the machine tool vendor, which was a major factor in our decision to select it.” After the implementation of the machines in a new clean room staff were trained in November 2008. Steve Brown, Composite Kit Cutter commented; “JETCAM is more user-friendly than our previous system, and also easier than another system I’d used in the past elsewhere.” Once the system went live Red Bull Technology saw a number of benefits, the most noticeable of which was the nesting efficiency. Supplies of composite materials can be limited and leadtimes can be lengthy, and so Red Bull Technology has to maximise their material efficiency. Steve noted; “Recently we had to make some parts but could not get additional material, so had to make do with the material in stock. On our previous nests we were running at 300mm short of requirement, but when I ran the plies through JETCAM’s high performance nester it saved us 305mm – enough to complete the order.” Andy added; “If you can’t make enough of a part it can leave the team in jeopardy if they don’t have enough spares. We outsourced the cutting of another order as we had no time to cut it in-house. The supplier was telling me that they needed 327 linear metres to complete the job, however when we ran it through JETCAM we did it in 287 metres, which at over £100 per m2 equates to a £4k saving, and this on a nest we ran two or three times. ” In addition to material savings Red Bull Technology also saw an increase in throughput on the machine due to features such as common-line cutting, which allow plies to be separated using a single cut rather than leaving a skeleton. Steve noted; “Our previous system would not always rotate parts at all available angles, and also could not perform common cuts. Previously one particular nest of a wishbone would take three hours to cut, but with JETCAM I can do it in 1 ¾ hours.” The process of loading JETCAM Expert with orders remotely is achieved using JETCAM Orders Controller (JOC). Steve cites that this has significantly improved time from order to nest; “Previously it was sometimes quicker to cut a ply by hand than re-nest it. Now we just load a complete part or individual ply orders into JOC and all required plies are immediately ready to nest. I can queue up all the jobs and combine orders and then nest them together. We can also save end of roll material and create smaller nests to better utilise it.” JETCAM has extensive reporting capabilities, providing instant nesting efficiency and runtime statistics, which Red Bull Technology load onto their works orders. This provides the accounts department with immediate visibility of where material costs are within parts on the shop floor. Purchasing also saw significant benefits; Andy explained; “Many materials are specific to the Formula 1 industry, with some even unique to Red Bull Technology. JETCAM gives me the scope to forward order and plan better.”

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IDI Buys Menzolit

16th July 2009 0 comments

IDI Composites International has acquired the manufacturing facilities that were formerly part of Menzolit Compounds International GmbH from German strategic investor, Senata. The Menzolit plants that will transfer to IDI are located in Vineuil, France and Shanghai, China and produce thermoset bulk moulding compound (BMC) and sheet moulding compound (SMC). The companies also produce CIC, an additional thermoset compound manufactured via a continuous impregnation process. This acquisition of these facilities makes IDI Composites the largest supplier of thermoset molding compounds in the world, and effectively doubles the company’s manufacturing output. The acquisition also means faster turnaround for IDI’s expanding global customer base, due to the relatively short shelf life of BMC and SMC products, and gives the company solid operational footing in Continental Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. IDI currently operates facilities in N. America, U.K., and China. Commenting on the acquisition, IDI President Tom Merrell said, “”We’ve always provided the highest quality products to our customers. With this acquisition, we’ve made a world-class commitment to offer our technical expertise to an expanding global marketplace.””

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Composite Advantage Wins Economic Development Project Of The Year

16th July 2009 0 comments

Composite Advantage has received the 2009 Economic Development Project of the Year Award from CityWide Development Corporation, the Dayton-based agency. CityWide encourages economic growth in the Greater Dayton area and southwest Ohio by offering creative business financing solutions to people who want to expand an existing business or start a new one. “CityWide’s financing support helped make it possible for us to acquire a 22,000 square foot manufacturing facility,” said Scott Reeve, President of Composite Advantage. “A former steel fabrication plant, the building really suited our requirements for producing very large fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) components.” Brian Heitkamp, CityWide Economic Development Director explains, “Composite Advantage is a true leader in Dayton’s advanced manufacturing sector. CityWide is proud to name them as our 2009 Economic Development Project of the Year.”

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