Albany International acquires CirComp GmbH
CirComp manufactures customized components from composite materials using CNC controlled filament winding, thermoplastic pultrusion or resin transfer molding (RTM). Source | CirComp LinkedIn
Albany International Corp. (Rochester, NH, U.S.) announced that it has acquired CirComp GmbH (Kaislerslautern, Germany), a privately-held developer and manufacturer of high-performance composite components. Founded by Dr. Ing. Ralph Funck, CirComp specializes in designing and manufacturing customized engineered composite components for aerospace and other demanding industrial applications. The company will become part of the Albany Engineered Composites (AEC) business unit, best known for its supply of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) fan blades, fan case and spacers for the LEAP commercial aircraft jet engine.
CirComp was the original thermoplastic composite pultrusion partner in the MAI Skelett project (see “More details on MAI Skelett design process”). Headed by BMW, this project sought to improve material efficiency, cycle time and cost in automotive structures (e.g., a roof cross-member) by overmolding unidirectional thermoplastic pultrusions. CirComp integrated spreading 50K carbon fiber tow into its continuous pultrusion line to optimize impregnation of the fibers with the thermoplastic PA6 matrix. The pultrusions were shipped to BMW Landshut for thermoforming and overmolding.
Albany’s acquisition of CirComp reportedly expands its portfolio of proprietary, advanced manufacturing technologies for composite components, increases its position as a leading innovator in advanced materials processing and automation, and opens a geographic footprint in Europe to better serve Albany’s global customer base. AEC supplies composite parts for the LEAP aerospace engine in partnership with Safran, as well as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, F-35 jet and CH-53K helicopter programs.
“I’m excited to welcome Dr. Funck and the CirComp team to Albany International,” says Olivier Jarrault, Albany’s president and CEO. “We are combining two great innovators of high-performance engineered composite component design and technology, both with strong capabilities in proprietary automated manufacturing process development. CirComp will be a compelling addition to Albany’s current portfolio. Together we will be able to leverage our combined know-how, accelerating our technology development in thermoplastic composites and expanding our offering of innovative composite solutions to our customers.”
Dr. Ing. Ralph Funck, managing director for CirComp GmbH, says, “We are extremely pleased to be joining Albany International Corp., as part of their Engineered Composites Group. Albany International will enhance CirComp’s ongoing growth plans, supported by their global reach and strong customer relationships. Together, we will strengthen one another’s advanced materials and engineered products capabilities. We envision significant strategic benefits from this combination, allowing us to even better serve our customers' needs. Our employees and management team are looking forward to joining the Albany organization and working together for continued growth and success.”
Capable of volume production, thermoplastic composites will gain new market share in the aerospace industry.
Compared to legacy materials like steel, aluminum, iron and titanium, composites are still coming of age, and only just now are being better understood by design and manufacturing engineers. However, composites’ physical properties — combined with unbeatable light weight — make them undeniably attractive.
Fast-reacting resins and speedier processes are making economical volume manufacturing possible.