Composite manufacturing is a sophisticated process — combining strong, robust, and versatile materials from other materials, typically composed of fibre reinforcements bonded by a resin matrix, isn’t a straightforward task.
To serve markets such as transportation, marine, aerospace, defence, industrial, or medical, top composite manufacturing companies must do things differently to stand apart from the competition:
In an increasingly aggressive market, the best composite manufacturers must offer competitive prices to maintain demand. Many utilize CNC (computer numerical control) manufacturing to automate machine tools management and improve efficiencies to hit economies of scale faster.
Remember, without CNC technology, high volume textile cutting is a slow and costly process that requires skilled labour. Meanwhile, CNC cutting allows for a fast cycle manufacturing technique.Here area few more ways the best companies use efficient production technologies to reduce costs:
- High-speed compression moulding
- High-pressure moulding processes
- Fast cure resin technology resulting in 10-minute curing
- Low cost and high yield precursors for the development of commercial carbon fibres
- Utilization of more reactive resins that decrease cycle time
In addition, the best composite manufacturing companies use advanced industry-specific technologies to offer cost-effective services. For example, in the aerospace industry, they may reduce cost by as much as 20% by producing carbon fibres from textile Polyacrylonitrile (PAN). Likewise, in the automotive industry, they may use more cost-effective polymers, textiles, plant fibres, and natural fibres as low-cost fibre precursors.
As industries require more speedy prototyping of parts and moulds, the best composite manufacturing companies use 3D printing to develop samples of new parts quickly.
Essentially, 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process of creating composite materials from digital models. It’s also perfect for short-run manufacturing and intimate production work.
Some companies even send 3D samples to clients across the globe. Such clients print the samples locally, saving time and money.
Top composite manufacturing companies also use 3D printing for the complete production of some materials like rail lock-out mechanisms and signage components.
Composite manufacturing still relies on core techniques like hand lay-up, the easiest and oldest way to mould composites composite materials. Today, the versatile method helps produce horse racing helmets, hockey helmets, retail store fixtures, art sculptures, moulds, boats, truck parts, defence parts, etc.
If you’re looking for a composite manufacturing company with expertise in hand lay-up, then partner with a business that has several decades of experience executing composite hand lay-up projects. Likewise, select a manufacturer that has sufficient capacity for small and large projects.
When it comes to an intimate technique like hand lay-up work, you need a company with a proven track record.
Of course, not all composites use fabrics. If your job requires rigid or elastomer, neat or filled, toughened or fire retardant, you need a company that offers machine dispensing, controlled pressure casting, and urethane resins to satisfy your needs.
These are four of the many things the most in-demand composite manufacturing companies do things differently. Look for a manufacturer that provides high-quality services at competitive prices and uses world-class equipment and technologies to develop premium quality composites.