Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items from the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering's international symposium and exhibition, held May 21-25 in Long Beach, Calif. Creative Pultrusions adds automated line
A Creative Pultrusions Inc. division is operating an automated pilot line to provide cross-sectional flexibility in geometric designs for thermoset pultruded profiles.
Developers of the nontraditional pulshaping technology intend to create a module that can fit a standard reciprocating-clamp pultrusion machine, said Joseph Sumerak, vice president of corporate technology and president of the Pultrusion Dynamics Division in Oakwood Village, Ohio. Research began under a 1995 small-business award from the National Science Foundation.
Separately, Creative Pultrusion expanded production capability at its Alum Bank, Pa., facility to 20 pultrusion lines from 17 in the past year. The company's maximum manufacturing envelope is 72 inches wide by 24 inches deep.
Also, in April, Creative Pultrusion and Caledonia Composites of Aberdeen, Scotland, reached a licensing agreement. Creative Pultrusion became the exclusive general manufacturer and licensee for Caledonia's Pulrite pultrusion process technology. A Pulrite user can make a continuous integral core with a reinforced shell. Caledonia is a division of Stewart Milne Group.
Creative Pultrusion employs about 200, has annual sales of about $200 million and manufactures in Roswell, N.M., in addition to the Pennsylvania headquarters and Ohio technology center locations.
Prepreg work cells offer cost savings
Specialty machine maker Century Design Inc. of San Diego is supplying drop-in-place prepreg work cells that can save an end user about 40 percent on the cost of material from traditional suppliers.
A manufacturer of golf shafts, fishing rods or tennis racquets can make prepreg in needed widths and quantities, said President Robert Basso. The company is having success with domestic and European sporting goods and sailboat-mast makers since introducing the product in late 1998.
Each turnkey cell costs $1 million to $1.2 million and can produce up to 2,000 pounds of prepreg per day, Basso said. The practical daily minimum is 500 pounds.
Separately, Century Design has developed a cleansing system to capture dust and other components from water used, and then reused, in production of carbon fiber.
"What it removes from the water, it puts into a dry cake that can be discarded in the trash," Basso said. A manual system costs about $14,000 and a fully automated one, $45,000. Sales began this year.
Environmental agencies in California and elsewhere are "tightening up on what you can put down the sewers," he said. "I am familiar with an instance where it is a major problem. Everybody is in everybody's factory looking for something wrong. We can short-circuit that with some simple equipment." Minute carbon fiber particles "are so small that they infiltrate ground water."
Century Design employs about 30 and anticipates about $6 million in sales this year.
SAMPE to produce magazine in-house
The society canceled an outside contract to edit, layout and coordinate SAMPE Journal production and will handle those tasks internally from its Covina, Calif., offices beginning with the September-October issue. A need to tighten financial control of the bimonthly magazine prompted the change, SAMPE Executive Director Daun White said in an interview May 24.
White will assume the publishing duties, and SAMPE Technical Director Scott Beckwith of Murray, Utah, will be technical editor. SAMPE leaders decided in February to make the change.
Benjamin Diversified Consulting Inc. of Gilbert, Ariz., began a five-year contract to manage the magazine in the spring of 1998. The firm boosted revenues by 50 percent in the contract's first year, added color printing and upgraded editorial content, but production costs significantly exceeded revenues. The firm declined to comment.
The Benjamin organization publishes several specialized composites industry newsletters.
Charles Hamermesh had served both as technical director and SAMPE Journal editor until his death in March 1998.