Composites One (Arlington Heights, Ill.), along with the Closed Mold Alliance and 20 industry partners, will use the latest closed mold processes to build parts, including an actual production part for a real Composites One customer – live, in person, right on the show floor – at COMPOSITES 2013 in Orlando, FL, on January 29-31. All the closed mold demos will take place in a specially-designed staging area at booth 737 and will include customer examples within the presentations.
It’s but the latest production of the "Lean Mean Closed Mold Machine" demos that have been presented by Composites One, the Closed Mold Alliance, and its industry partners at major composites industry events over the last decade. “In past demos, we’ve focused on showing manufacturers how closed mold can help them build large and small parts, better, faster, with less waste and emission,” said Composites One vice president Greg Shymske. “Now we have the chance to involve a valued customer in a live demo and show their part being built with the latest closed mold techniques. I can’t think of a better way to demonstrate the results that they and other manufacturers receive when they use these processes in their own operations.”
This year’s featured customer is Regal Marine Industries, a major manufacturer of luxury performance boats based in Orlando, Florida. “We used a leading Light RTM tool builder to manufacture the hatch-cover mold that will be used in our demonstrations,” said Shymske. “During our demonstration we will use the Light RTM process to build the actual part.” Regal representative Mike Weiss will be on hand during the event to review the mold and finished parts, and provide a live testimonial of the entire process.
In the Vacuum Infusion Process (VIP) work cell, team members will produce tooling for another participating manufacturer. “This is a good example of why manufacturers need to consider what they’re building before they select a particular closed mold process for their operation,” said Shymske. “Infusion, for example, is perfect for tooling because it results in greater heat resistance, extended mold life and faster build times, as well as significantly reduced styrene emissions.” Featured at that demo will be OptiPLUS from CCP Composites (N. Kansas City, Mo.), an infusion resin specially formulated for tooling production.
Also featured at COMPOSITES 2013 will be Flex Molding, a technique developed by Magnum Venus Plastech (MVP, Clearwater, Fla.), and improved upon by the Closed Mold Alliance, that is ideal for producing silicone bags used in closed mold processes. In the Flex Molding work cell, attendees can watch a video of an actual silicone bag being produced through the process.
Also being showcased will be emerging technologies such as trademarked Sprayomer, an innovative flexible bag system from SR Composites LLC (Henderson, Nev.) that has proven effective in producing a variety of parts. The latest advancements in pregreg technology will also be demonstrated by the Composites One Advanced Composites Team. In addition to a live demonstration they will be showing video shot live at Fibreworks (Mooresville, N.C.), a Composites One customer using Axiom Materials Inc. (Santa Ana, Calif.) prepreg material to manufacture parts every day.
Another exciting feature will be the use of advanced polyurethane resin from Bayer MaterialScience (Pittsburgh, Pa.). This material will be combined with the Light RTM process to produce a tractor hood part. The mold is a specially-designed tool for this product featuring heating technology to make reinforcement conditions ideal for finishing the part. Representatives from Bayer will be on hand to discuss this emerging technology and how it complements closed molding.
All demonstrations feature MVP, a leading meter/mix equipment manufacturer and an expert in closed mold processes, as well as RTM North Technologies (Vanastra, Ontario, Canada), a leading authority on Light RTM. Together with Composites One, these companies comprise the Closed Mold Alliance. “Composites One and the Closed Mold Alliance is the one place where manufacturers can find leading industry closed mold experts who can offer them a roadmap to successful closed mold conversion,” said Shymske.
Throughout the event, industry experts from the Alliance, along with the Composites One Closed Mold Team, will be on hand to answer attendees’ questions, discuss equipment and materials, and help manufacturers learn how to put these processes to work in their operation.
This is the ninth consecutive year that Composites One and its partners have presented live demonstrations of closed mold processes at a major trade show event. All are the result of a joint effort between Composites One, the Closed Mold Alliance and its many supplier partners. Composites Manufacturing and Composites Technology magazines are the official media sponsors of the event. “We’re very thankful to these partners for their continuous expertise and support,” said Shymske.
For more information, please visit the Lean Mean Closed Mold Machine Demo at booth 737 at COMPOSITES 2013, visit compositesone.com or closedmoldalliance.com, or call Composites One at 800-621-8003 for more information.