News Briefs: Oct. 12, 2010

ABMACO to form Latin American composites association; CCP to host free tooling course this week in Utah; Connecting in Wind, Cornerstone Advisory Group form U.S. alliance; Ducommun wins F-35 inlet work; Fiberforge adds Dusty Dequine and Chris Bilby as composites engineers; Red Bull Racing picks Firehole's Helius:MCT; honeycomb maker Paneltec sold; OSU buys WARDJet waterjet cutter.

The Brazilian Composite Materials Association (ABMACO) is leading an effort to form the Latin American Association of Composite Materials (ALMACO), in 2012. The meetings to define the details of the new entity will take place in the first half of November, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Since it represents the largest market of composites in the region — it generated turnover of $1.25 billion (USD) in 2009, which is expected to increase 11 percent this year — ABMACO was indicated as the natural choice to lead the foundation of ALMACO, which will be headquartered in Sao Paulo.

Cook Composites and Polymers (CCP, Kansas City, Mo., USA) will host another event in its CCPU composites training series on Wednesday, Oct. 13 in Salt Lake City to coincide with the 2010 SAMPE Fall Technical Conference. This CCPU training event entitled, "Tooling 201: Advances in Mold Building," will feature products and methods for rapid plug construction and creating dimensionally stable mold surfaces. CCP will conduct class room tutorials and product demonstrations at the Meadowbrook Campus of Salt Lake Community College on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010, from 8:00 am until noon. To attend this free event, contact CCP at 1-800-821-3590 for registration information.

Cornerstone Advisory Group Inc. (CAG, Rochester, Mich., USA), an organization that provides business consulting and executive search services to alternative energy businesses, has formed an alliance with Connecting In Wind (CIW, Leiden, The Netherlands), creating a new Michigan CIW-US office. Tom Gross will be its managing director-U.S. while continuing as the president of Cornerstone Advisory Group. “CAG will utilize its proprietary high value executive search process with the extensive wind industry network of CIW to find experienced wind specialists for the North American market,” 
said Gross.  Connecting In Wind (CIW) specializes in executive search and recruitment of engineering experts and senior executives in the global wind energy sector. Cornerstone Advisory Group is a firm of senior business consultants that provide services such as performance improvement consulting, interim C-Level leadership, talent acquisition services and strategic planning for wind energy, engineering services and equipment manufacturing companies.

Ducommun Inc. (Los Angeles, Calif., USA) announced that its Ducommun AeroStructures Inc. (DAS) subsidiary has been awarded a contract to manufacture the inlet lipskins for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program for Northrop Grumman Corp. This contract covers low-rate initial production (LRIP) through 2015, and is valued at more than $3 million. Initial deliveries are scheduled for second quarter 2011, and all work will be performed at the DAS Gardena and El Mirage (California) facilities.

Composites automation and technology specialist Fiberforge (Glennwood Springs, Colo., USA) has announced the addition of Dusty Dequine and Chris Bilby as composites engineers. Dequine will lead product and process development, design and analysis for customer development programs. Dequine comes to Fiberforge from Boeing Commercial Aircraft (BCA) in Seattle, Wash., USA, where he was involved in the design and analysis of Boeing's 787 composite wing structures, among other projects. Bilby will support customer product and process development programs from material selection through to prototyping and production launch. Bilby adds to Fiberforge his broad experience in mechanical engineering. Coming from a machine design background, Bilby is acutely aware of the benefits of automation and process integration to improve productivity, consistency, and output of production processes.

Firehole Technologies Inc. (Laramie, Wyo., USA), a developer of analysis software for composite materials, has announced that Red Bull Racing has chosen its Helius:MCT software package and selected Firehole for participation in its technology development program. Red Bull Racing will use Helius:MCT for computer-aided design and engineering of advanced composite materials — such as the carbon fiber-based materials commonly used in Formula One wings and chassis structures. This is expected to result in better designs in a shorter amount of time, and ultimately improve performance on the track for the Red Bull Racing Formula One cars.

Entrepreneur Tim Petersen has acquired the assets of Paneltec Corp. (Lafayette, Colo., USA), a 20-year-old manufacturer lightweight, high-strength honeycomb panels. Petersen and his newly hired COO, Lanny Duggar, have plans to improve and grow the company. “A large capital investment will bring immediate results by increasing capacity and improving quality. We expect strong job growth inside of the company. We will expand in sales and number of markets served,” says Petersen. “We will be fortifying the business in aerospace, marine, railcar, architectural elements and many other industrial markets. This is an industry that has tremendous upside potential. We will bring economic growth to the area.”

The Ohio State University (OSU) has purchased and installed a WARDJet (Tallmadge, Ohio, USA) Z-45 abrasive waterjet cutting system with a Psy-Winder 5-axis cutting head. The system is installed at the Center for Advanced Polymer and Composite Engineering (CAPCE) on the OSU campus. CAPCE focuses on the research and development of advanced polymeric composite materials typically used in industries like aerospace and wind turbines. The research in this area is currently funded by the Third Frontier program of the state of Ohio. Among the member companies interested in this work are Bell Helicopters, Ashland Chemicals and Owens Corning. The machine will be used primarily for research, but will also be used for departmental and educational purposes in the department of Integrated Systems Engineering.