Manufacturing and Environmental issues will be the central subjects of the 2008 Show (April 1-3, Paris, Porte de Versailles), which will feature all the current processes.
There will be a special focus on the least expensive and most flexible techniques. Cost optimization at all steps in the production chain will be scrutinized. The 2008 session will highlight the main developments in R&D, analysis, engineering, design, CAD/CAM, simulation, prototyping, stereolithography, testing, non-destructive testing, process industrialisation and nanocomposites.
The 2008 Show will also present the full range of design tools and resources that contribute to the development of a sector that is constantly innovating, with a focus on equipment, machines, tooling, machine tools, automation, quality assurance, surface treatment, coatings, software and hardware, ancillary equipment, fillers, and additives. Mould manufacturing is still an active area when it comes to the materials used and the concerns with reducing cycle times while saving on energy and raw materials. This year, special attention will be paid to bonding techniques and the latest adhesive innovations.
The composite industry now prioritizes environmental improvements as much as other composite properties. The environment is taken into account across the board, for example with the reduction of weight to achieve energy savings, with mould heating techniques, and the increased concern for noise attenuation. The 2008 Show will gather together more and more “Green” exhibitors around biocomposites that either have plant-polymer matrices or are reinforced with natural fibres such as flax, sisal, cotton, kenaf, palm, bamboo, wood or abaca.
“The composite industry has good growth and the prospects are excellent”, commented Frédérique Mutel, JEC Group President and CEO. “In terms of global value, the composite industry grew an average 8% per year from 2002 to 2005, reaching €53 billion compared to €42 billion in 2002 – for two principal reasons, which are the increase in volume and the impact of steadily rising oil prices. In terms of volume, the global market is 8.2 million metric tons (MT), distributed among North America with 2.2 million MT, Europe (Western Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia) with 3 million MT, and Asia/the rest of the world with 3 million MT. The industry employs some 550,000 professionals throughout the world, distributed almost equally among North America, Europe and Asia.”
As for the future, according to Ms. Mutel, “our studies indicate that the sector’s growth in volume could be 4.9% per year between 2005 and 2015. Because the composite industry is a mature one, its growth in volume will more or less match the GDP’s annual growth. The above 4.9% annual growth rate breaks down to 3.3% for the emerging Asian market, 1.2% for Europe and North America, and 0.3% of additional growth due to the increasing penetration of composites.”
She went on to say that “globally, the segments that are growing the fastest are wind energy (9%) and aviation (7%). Growth is also boosted by industrial applications in electricity and electronics, pipes and tanks. And building and construction, more particularly in Asia.”
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