Frost & Sullivan (Mountain View, CA, US) has recognized Material-Wave Interactions Laboratories, LLC (MWI Lab, Tempe, AZ, US) with the 2015 Global Frost & Sullivan Entrepreneurial Company of the Year Award. The increased use of composites and advanced materials in the automotive and aerospace industries is creating a host of challenges with respect to material inspection and testing. In this scenario, MWI Lab is emerging as a “game changer” with its cradle-to-grave approach to testing of composites, stated Frost & Sullivan. The MWI NDT technology can test materials across the manufacturing process, right from raw materials (raw resins, adhesives, webs, mats) to semi-finished (honeycomb/foam blocks, laminates) and, finally, the finished structures (radomes, canopies, wing structures).
MWI Lab's unique and patented technology employs Gaussian beam polyrod antennas and electromagnetic linearly polarized resonant loop sensors (E-pods) across a broad microwave (MW) spectrum. These sensors are incorporated into NDT solutions for in-process quality control (QC) or quality assurance (QA) during manufacturing. The company's solutions include reel-to-reel scanners, defect detection systems, insertion loss devices, reflection loss devices, in-process uniformity scanners and handheld scanners.
"MWI Lab's technology and solutions are likely to become the standard of advanced composites testing for in-process QC during manufacturing and QA for the continual improvement of existing and new composites," said Frost & Sullivan Principal Lead Nikhil Jain. "No other composite NDT technology currently matches MWI Lab's broad application base or ability to provide real-time testing without damaging the material."
"Significantly, the price of MWI Lab's technology is comparable to traditional NDT technologies, and the company offers additional options of rentals or outsourced test services," noted Nikhil. "Besides, it presents outstanding cost savings to end users that opt for in-process testing of advanced composite materials. Research shows that the production efficiencies of midstream or upstream composite manufacturers that have implemented this solution have more than doubled from 46 percent to 98 percent."
In addition, MWI Lab's provision of real-time, in-process testing lowers inspection time for composite testing and scrap. Compared to competitive solutions such as X-ray and ultrasonic NDT, MWI Lab's technology decreases scrap by as much as 80 percent and cost by 310 percent, according to Frost & Sullivan. These savings are derived by shrinking sample preparation time from hours to seconds, and sample sizes from square yard to square inches.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.