Zoltek receives Frost & Sullivan innovation award

Zoltek Panex 35 carbon fiber receives Frost & Sullivan's 2013 North American New Product Innovation Award.

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Frost & Sullivan (Mountain View, Calif., USA) has recognized carbon fiber manufacturer Zoltek Cos. Inc. (St. Lous, Mo., USA) with the "2013 North American Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award" for its unique commercial carbon fiber, Panex 35. Frost & Sullivan credited the material with addressing the key automotive industry challenge of lightweighting.

Partnerships with Zoltek can be a tremendous value addition to automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) seeking to manufacture lightweight vehicles. Automotive companies find it easier to comply with the U.S. government's stringent fuel economy standards by employing Panex 35.

"Panex 35 commercial-grade carbon fiber stands out in terms of capacity, quality, consistency and low cost (< $19/kg)," says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Sunney Fotedar. "Panex 35 applied to sheet molding compound applications enables the production of lighter parts and improved surface finish."

"Zoltek's competitive advantage, derived through its strong position in the wind energy industry, will enable the company to deliver value to its customers," notes Fotedar. "Even though Panex 35 has higher material costs than steel and glass fiber, it can substantially lower tooling, maintenance, and machinery costs, and ultimately, increase the profit margin for the customers."

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leveraging leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it offers customers, which, in turn, increases customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.