The dedicated machine, which can slit up to 50 metres of prepreg per minute and create up to 48 tapes at once, enables prepreg manufacturers to vertically integrate the slitting process into their production lines.
By slitting in-house, manufacturers can reduce the cost and time spent storing and transporting prepreg in climate-controlled conditions – prepreg has to be stored around minus-19 degrees Celsius to prevent it from curing.
Cygnet Texkimp has begun selling the machine to the international composite manufacturing market where it will be used to make parts for the aerospace market using automatic tape laying (ATL).
The move comes amid growing demand from prepreg manufacturers and convertors for an alternative to the contract slitting-spooling model which can involve transporting prepreg material and tapes across the world to be converted.
Cygnet Texkimp Managing Director Luke Vardy explained:
“After many requests from customers for us to translate our fibre handling and wide web expertise into a slitting machine that will enable them to slit in-house, we’ve developed the technology to support them,” explains
“Historically, the cost of manufacturing slit tape means it has tended to be used only at the highest end of the composites market, to make parts like struts and fuselages for aerospace. If you can reduce the cost of production through vertical integration, you immediately cut the on-cost to the end user, and that gives manufacturers access to a much wider market including high volume automotive.
Having the facility to convert carbon fibre prepreg onsite gives manufacturers total control over production quality and speed and ultimately enhances profitability. If you can slit, spool and ship the prepreg as soon as it’s manufactured, then the whole process becomes infinitely more simple, efficient and profitable. The impact on the future of the composites industry is potentially huge.”
Companies: Cygnet Texkimp
Industries: Aerospace, Automotive and Road Transportation, Building and Civil Engineering, Defence & Military, Electrical, Electronics, Telecoms & Appliances, Energy, Equipment and Machinery, Marine Transportation and Shipbuilding, Medical, Oil & Gas, Other Composite End-use areas, Railway Vehicles & Infrastructure, Sports, Leisure & Recreation