Fiberforge to make backpack frame sheets for Mystery Ranch

Fiberforge Corp. (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) announced on June 30 that it has started production of a new military backpack frame sheet for Mystery Ranch LLC (Bozeman, Mont.). Mystery Ranch is a producer of high-performance survival packs, assault packs and ultralight packs used by military and law enforcement agenci

Fiberforge Corp. (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) announced on June 30 that it has started production of a new military backpack frame sheet for Mystery Ranch LLC (Bozeman, Mont.). Mystery Ranch is a producer of high-performance survival packs, assault packs and ultralight packs used by military and law enforcement agencies.

Prior to using Fiberforge, Mystery Ranch was fabricating the frame sheet from polyethylene plastic, fabric and aluminum. The polyethylene provided structure and flexibility, while the aluminum stays, which were inserted into fabric sleeves, provided stiffness. The part, while functional, was heavy and was labor intensive to produce, according to a statement issued by Fiberforge. The Fiberforge part, made with unidirectional glass fiber-reinforced thermoplastic, is 43 percent lighter than the part it replaces and is made as a single stamped part with ribs formed into it for stiffness. Fiberforge produces the part in 70 seconds, vs. the 10- to 12-minute production time it took Mystery Ranch to make the original frame sheet.

Dana Gleason, founder and president of Mystery Ranch, says, “We are extremely happy with the Fiberforge parts. Not only are they significantly lighter weight and more functional for our customers, but they are actually more cost competitive and have saved us significant labor expense.”

Fiberforge is producing the frame adjusters out of Glass/PET-PU (polyethylene terephthalate blended with polyurethane). Mystery Ranch originally ordered 10,000 parts, but the backpack frame sheets have been so well received in the market that Mystery Ranch has increased its order to more than 20,000 units.

“The Mystery Ranch backpack frame sheets represent a very practical use of advanced thermoplastic composites, and take full advantage of the cost benefits of the Fiberforge process,” says Tina Ogburn, operations manager of Fiberforge. “We are excited to be in full production and to be able to offer all the benefits of the Fiberforge technology to Mystery Ranch.”