MAG IAS acquires Forest-Liné

In a surprise move, machine tool specialist MAG has acquired French machine tool and automated fiber/tape placement company Forest Linè.

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MAG IAS (Erlanger, Ky.) announced on May 19 that it has acquired Forest-Liné Industries Group (Paris, France) through its European business unit, MAG Europe GmbH (Göppingen, Germany). Jean Bertrand Prot will continue as president and CEO of Forest-Liné and joins the MAG executive board. “This acquisition gives MAG another significant point of access to aerospace composites technology ... as well as additional market and customer segments,” said Dan Janka, president of MAG Global Industrial Systems. ”Liné has always been an innovator, and its technology portfolio is highly complementary with our own.”

Like MAG, Forest-Liné is a supplier of both automated tape laying and fiber placement systems but uses unique “two-phase” and “dual-phase” machine designs. On its tape layers, for example, prepreg tape material is cut to size and shape offline, then it is respooled and transferred to the machine head for layup, an approach originally developed by the late composites industry pioneer Brandt Goldsworthy. According to some reports, Forest-Liné’s machines are faster than industry standard single-phase equipment because the head doesn’t have to stop and restart for each cut. Also unique to Forest-Liné is the use of linear motor drives on the major movement axes, which reportedly enable much greater acceleration yet very quiet operation.

According to Janka, MAG predicts increased demand for composites in the wind industry over the next few years, and the company has strongly positioned itself for growth in all segments of renewable energy, as well as the automotive sector. For the latter, MAG has developed new composites production technology.