Process development and tool design are the heart and soul of composite products and our foundation.
Manufacturing and process engineers are the unsung heroes of the composites industry. Clever designs and the product the end user sees in the marketplace are important, but typically only about 20% of the puzzle.
80% of a successful composite product comes down to repeatable, consistent automated processes and well executed tool design – this is the part of the industry most people will never see. There are no silver bullets or keys to making good composite parts – there are many of small steps, each one needs to be documented and thoroughly understood.
Key process decisions include:
- Process selection for structural, cost, and production volumes
- Material selection for tooling durability and cost
- Resin selection for performance: impact, corrosion protection, electrical conductivity
- Pressure versus vacuum…pressure and vacuum
- Coefficients of thermal expansion for carbon fiber, aluminum, and silicone and how to make them work together in concert
We have successfully made the hard choices for hundreds of products. In fact, we are product agnostic – we don’t care what the product is. With experience in composite products that weigh from grams to tons, we know that process and tooling are where projects are made or lost.
Our focus on automated process equipment and tooling design and fabrication has allowed us to repatriate many projects from being manufactured overseas to “Made in the USA”.