Quickstep logs first Quickstep Process sale, fast-tracks RST development

System is sold to ORPE Technologiya, based in Obninsk, Russia. The Resin Spray Transfer system is being commercialized for automotive applications.

Related Topics:

Related Suppliers

Quickstep Holdings Ltd. (Bankstown Airport, New South Wales, Australia) announced on July 25 the first commercial sale of its patented Quickstep Process system. The company has secured a €4.2 million ($6.0 million AUD) contract to provide the system to aircraft composites manufacturer ORPE Technologiya (Obninsk, Russia) for the manufacture of large carbon composite components.

The Quickstep Process involves composite part cure with heated liquids, which is said to transfer heat 25 times faster than traditional autoclave or oven curing methods, reportedly enabling composite components to be cured more efficiently at a fraction of the cost. The Quickstep Process will be used to produce large carbon shielding for satellite payloads, opening up the aerospace navigation, telecommunications and weather satellite markets for Quickstep’s technology. The contract will be executed over an 18-month period and will involve all parts of Quickstep’s global organization.

Quickstep managing director Philippe Odouard said, “We are delighted with this first commercial sale of the Quickstep Process, which validates our business model and the quality of our research and development. The value of the Quickstep Process is that it is cost efficient and suited to mass production of composite components.”

ORPE Technologiya supplies businesses in 20 countries, including Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, the U.K., India, China and South Korea. OEMs served include Airbus (Toulouse, France), The Boeing Co. (Chicago, Ill.), Siemens AG (Munich, Germany) and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. NV (EADS, Leiden, The Netherlands).

Quickstep also is fast-tracking commercialization of its patented Resin Spray Transfer (RST) technology for automotive application. Quickstep says RST meets the industry’s three key manufacturing objectives: It enables production of strong vehicle parts at high speed and low cost, with a high-quality finish.

The “robotized” process fully automates production of lightweight carbon fiber composite car panels. Panels can be molded in minutes and at very low cost compared to other, more capital-intensive methods, says Quickstep.

Quickstep’s Odouard says, “In the emerging emission-legislated world, every leading car manufacturer is aiming to develop cars that are lighter, more affordable and consume less fuel. This can be achieved using Quickstep’s Resin Spray Transfer technology. We are delighted to have demonstrated RST’s technical success by repeatedly manufacturing carbon fiber composite panels with our pioneering automatic plant in Sydney. It delivers car parts with a Class-A surface finish, without the need for the ‘re-work’ that is commonly required with the manufacture of carbon fiber automotive panels.” He says Quickstep plans to manufacture exterior parts and to license the molding technology to automakers.

Parts molded via RST reportedly maintain their surface quality, and painted parts do not show print-through or other defects, even after the extreme environmental aging tests required for high-end supercars

Quickstep says it is pursuing large-volume production tests in cooperation with industrial partners in Germany, including Auto OEM Audi AG (Ingolstedt, Germany).

A few days before these announcements, Australia’s Minister for Defense Materiel, the Hon. Dr. Mike Kelly, was on hand when Quickstep celebrated the delivery its 100th manufactured carbon-fiber composite part for its F-35 Lightning II contract with Northrop Grumman Corp. (Falls Church, Va.). Odouard noted that the milestone meets production commitments agreed to more than two years ago. Quickstep will manufacture 21 different parts for the JSF program at its Bankstown Airport facility. The overall agreement, under which Quickstep will supply JSF parts to several OEMs, is valued at up to $700 million (USD) over two decades.