Cato Composites expands thermoplastic composites production capacity
Larger facility and expanded development team to increase market position and fulfill new orders in safety and sporting goods.
Photo Credit: Cato Composites
Cato Composites (Rheden, Netherlands) manufacturer of high-quality continuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite (CFRTC) products and components, has used the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to invest and prepare for future growth. In November 2020, the company replaced its former location for a new larger plant, which is located at the same business park, Haveland, in Rheden, Netherlands.
“When the pandemic broke out, we first saw a decline in our order book,” Joost van Lindert, managing director, explains. “We decided that this quiet period was the right moment to invest and prepare for our growth strategy. The new plant gives Cato plenty of room to expand our capacity.” Not only did Cato Composites invest in a new plant but its team was also expanded. “Our development team has been enlarged and we set up a sales and marketing team to increase our strength in the market” says Joost.
One of the new team members is Guïdo Isselman. Guïdo has a background in technical textiles and started in the role of commercial manager back in September 2020. He is responsible for sales and marketing and will be the primary contact for new inquiries. “Cato has a strong and experienced team. It’s really energizing to see how the Cato team facilitates its customers by helping them to innovate their products with light weight CFRTC solutions,” says Guïdo.
Over the last quarter of 2020, Cato Composites says it finally saw its order book filled with new, exciting projects. “Just before we moved over, when we shut down the machinery, we were confronted with new orders mainly from the sporting goods and safety industry,” Joost adds. The company reportedly benefited because of its diversified customer portfolio. “Especially from those customers which saw extensive growth because of COVID-19,” Joost says. “This trend has continued into the first quarter of 2021, which is very exciting.”
As postponed projects are picked up again, Cato Composites expects to see more growth, especially for the coming years. The company’s thermoplastic products can support customers in applications such as sporting goods, aerospace interiors, consumer goods and automotive.
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.
Approaching rollout and first flight, the 787 relies on innovations in composite materials and processes to hit its targets
For composite applications, these hollow microstructures displace a lot of volume at low weight and add an abundance of processing and product enhancements.