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3/4/2013 | 5 MINUTE READ

Biz Briefs: March 2013 HPC

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Business briefs from Hexcel, Bell-Boeing, Gougeon Brothers, Airtech, Magnolia and M1 Composites Technology.


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Hexcel Corp. (Stamford, Conn.) announced on Jan. 22 that it had received a 2012 Boeing Performance Excellence Award. The Boeing Co. (Chicago, Ill.) issues the award annually to recognize suppliers who have achieved superior performance. Hexcel maintained a Silver composite performance rating for each month of the 12-month performance period, from Oct. 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012. “We are proud to be recognized by our largest customer for superior supply performance,” said Mike Canario, Hexcel VP and general manager for the Americas.

According to a story at the Naval-Technology.com Web site, dated Jan. 3, and several other publications, the U.S. Navy has awarded a modification contract to the Bell-Boeing Joint Program (Amarillo, Texas) to develop and deliver 21 additional V-22 Osprey aircraft. Under the $1.4 billion modification deal, which follows a previously awarded contract, Bell-Boeing will supply 17 MV-22 Osprey aircraft to the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and four CV-22 aircraft to U.S. Air Force (USAF) Special Operations. Under the contract terms, the partnership also will provide the long-lead components necessary to develop and deliver 19 MV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft to the USMC and 18 CV-22 tilt-rotor aircraft to the USAF in fiscal year 2014, says the published report. The composites-intensive aircraft has been designed to support a wide range of naval missions, including combat, search and rescue, fleet logistics support, special warfare support and amphibious assault, as well as long-range “special ops” infiltration and exfiltration. Work on this contract is scheduled to be complete in September 2016, with the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command serving as the contracting entity.

Gougeon Brothers Inc. (Bay City, Mich.) has announced an overhaul in the chemistry, pricing and marketing of its PRO-SET line of advanced composite epoxies. The company chose to revamp the line after noting a unique trend: PRO-SET custom resin formulations were consistently outselling some of the epoxies in its standard PRO-SET product line. The company says it realized it could deliver these popular custom products to customers faster, and at more competitive prices, by making them part of its standard product line. Accordingly, Gougeon’s chemists reformulated the PRO-SET line for enhanced performance and adjusted the chemistry to allow 3:1 mix ratios across the board in the laminating and infusion epoxies. PRO-SET resins can now be chosen by viscosity, and hardeners can be chosen by speed. This allows engineers and fabricators to select a resin/hardener combination that best suits their specific projects and processes. PRO-SET hardeners are now priced the same in each category, regardless of cure speed. Gougeon also reorganized PRO-SET’s product offerings into four distinct categories: Laminating, Infusion, Tooling and Adhesives. All products have been given a category prefix of LAM, INF, TLG or ADV to assure the compatibility of resin and hardener selections.

To commemorate the organization’s 40th anniversary, Airtech Advanced Materials Group (Huntington Beach, Calif.) has created a custom logo that will be featured throughout 2013 and has launched a new Web site. The anniversary celebration, first announced on Nov. 16 last year, will continue all year long at all Airtech-related locations worldwide. The anniversary logo prominently features the number 40 to commemorate the four decades the company has been in business. The new Web site, says the company, will be a “hub” that links to Web sites operated by each of Airtech’s individual facilities. It is designed to be easy to navigate and can stream demonstration videos with a simple click of a button. Airtech was founded in 1973 by William “Bill” Dahlgren, an engineer who started the business with four people in San Bernardino, Calif. The goal was to create a “one-stop shop” and manufacture vacuum bagging and composite tooling materials for manufacturers of fiberglass and carbon fiber parts. Dahlgren is still active in the business and has seen his company grow to more than 500 employees, with worldwide manufacturing in Huntington Beach; Chino, Calif.; Differdange, Luxembourg; Rochdale, England, U.K.; and Tianjin, China. Airtech is privately owned and is an ISO 9001:2008 and an AS9100 Rev C-certified company.

The Magnolia Plastics Inc. (Chamblee, Ga.) board of directors has changed the company’s name to Magnolia Advanced Materials Inc. The custom formulator of high-performance epoxy resin systems announced the impending change on Oct. 5, 2012. CEO Rick Wells notes that the decision reinforces the company’s real-world activities and plans: “Our new name better reflects our current business and will grow with us as we add new chemistries and product lines. My father, Don Wells, founded the company in 1957 and began by developing epoxy for the aviation industry and emerging U.S. space program. Our tagline then was ‘Plastics for the Space Age.’” Since those early days, Magnolia’s products have flown on shuttle missions and into deep space on Pioneer and Voyager missions. Wells says his father “would be thrilled to see how we’ve grown, and that we still specialize in aviation of all types. I think he would be particularly proud that we are considered a leader in another emerging space industry: space tourism. Our name has changed but our commitment to excellence in customer service and innovative product development will remain our primary focus.” Magnolia Advanced Materials Inc. is AS9100-certified.

M1 Composites Technology Inc. (Laval, Quebec, Canada) has opened its new advanced composites repair facility and manufacturing plant. The state-of-the-art operation is designed to provide rapid turnaround of damaged commercial and military aircraft components. “Our team of highly experienced technicians combined with a cutting-edge facility will provide a catered solution to meet specific customer needs,” says Lorenzo Marandola, M1 Composites president. “The key factor in achieving a rapid turnaround for repairs is the proximity to the Montreal airport and military maintenance operations, coupled with the internal agility of the M1 system.” The 24,000-ft2/2,230m2 facility features a certified cleanroom, a large curing oven, a paint finishing operation and a full complement of repair equipment. As a new entity in the aircraft composites repair arena, M1 Composites has been positioned to provide top-level resources and highly qualified personnel to serve the aircraft, military and commercial markets. For more information about the company, visit its Web site: www.m1composites.com