This week is the Fifth Annual National Composites Week. Their theme is “Composites Are Now” and I cannot think of a more appropriate theme.
I just left a customer site, where we discussed setting up a walk around their floor identifying possible metal to composite opportunities. They are a “METALS” company where steel is designed into their extensive product line. They are a great company, in existence for 75 years, (it was their anniversary celebration I attended), with good people that talked about their history, their perseverance and their innovation that got them through 75 years. Yet, they have been slow to embrace the latest trend of recognizing the tremendous potential in converting from metal to composites.
Composites have steadily become common place. Yet the depth of how composites have become part of your daily lives, gets overlooked.
If you have started personal/business travel again that involved flying, composites have become an integral part of avionics and plane construction. The famed Boeing 787 is over half composite construction (PlastiCert has a presence in that aircraft and others). Many other aircraft are heavily lighted down with composites. Whether you know it or not, you are staking your life, along with arriving to your destination safely, on the capabilities of composites.
If you are not flying, you are most likely driving. Automotive manufacturers have embraced composites and started utilizing them throughout their cars and trucks. Originally composites appeared within the auto interior where UV inhibitors helped weather the summer. As composites evolved their use spread to the exterior, the engine compartment, and now even the drivetrain. You put your and your family’s safety in the hands of composites every single day.
Bottom line, composites are used to manufacture commercial aircraft structures, fighter jets, car and truck parts, railcar parts, wind turbine blades, fishing boats, fishing rods, golf clubs, tennis rackets, medical prosthetics and much more.
Here at PlastiCert, we started referring to ourselves as a Composites Injection Molder, because we buy more composite resins than base resins to fulfill our customers’ needs.
Yet, we know there are more opportunities out there. Need to save weight? Need to reduce shop time by molding in features rather than secondary and tertiary manufacturing steps? Need to improve your products’ ability to weather the elements or be more repairable? Talk to us about composite options. If a thermoplastic composite exists, we can injection mold it. I read an article about composites where the author (an injection molder) said, “Molders are not necessarily material experts”. Well, at PlastiCert molding engineers ARE material experts. Graduating from the only Composite Materials Engineering program in the country. We think knowing about the materials you are processing is CRUCIAL to optimizing our offerings to our customers. Everyone else is just feeling their way through the injection molding process.
So, look around your production floor, or better yet, have us look around it with you. Opportunities abound, and we’ll be more than happy to help you reap the benefits of COMPOSITES.
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