Renton, WA /PRNewswire/ - SEKISUI Aerospace, a subsidiary of SEKISUI Chemical, has completed an investment in Continuous Compression Molding (CCM) thermoplastics technology and equipment. The work cell is currently being installed in SEKISUI's Renton, WA facility and is expected to be operational by December 2021. The CCM line includes ply cutting and alignment, welding, and test equipment. Additionally, an Automated Press Cell (APC) with a robotic part transfer that enables stamp forming of thermoplastic composite blanks will be installed by Q2 of 2022.
Adding continuous fiber thermoplastics production to the Renton, WA facility complements SEKISUI's existing thermoplastic and thermoset production capability. This new work cell is also strategically located adjacent to our Innovation Laboratory (iLab) - Research and Development center. This technology addition enables SEKISUI to offer its customers a wider variety of manufacturing and process technologies for new work packages. CCM adds breadth to SEKISUI's existing thermoplastics processing portfolio which currently includes chopped fiber products produced at our Orange City, IA facility.
The flexibility of the CCM process allows for varying ply orientations and ply counts to produce solid laminate blanks of varying thickness and widths up to 24 inches. Panels of varying lengths can be produced for companies with existing stamp forming capability, or produced for use on our own APC cell. It can also produce multiple shapes of continuous fiber structural profiles.
Chelsea McLaughlin, Senior Director of Programs, Contracts and Strategy stated, "We are excited to add this composite technology to our product offering. We see a lot of opportunity for thermoplastics in the aerospace market but are also open to other market applications as well. The team is working on testing and qualification of the equipment and processes, and is currently developing plans based on materials and product applications for existing and new customers."
"The ability to develop CCM solutions for customers in commercial aerospace and other industries such as automotive, Urban Air Mobility (UAM), and military applications, allows us to differentiate ourselves through technology and serve our customers with innovative solutions for their current and future projects. Investing in this automated thermoplastic capability is also another great step towards our commitments to eco-sustainability and aids our efforts in minimizing our impact to the environment by employing recyclable materials," said Daniele Cagnatel, CEO and President of SEKISUI Aerospace.
About SEKISUI Aerospace
SEKISUI Aerospace has been manufacturing and engineering products for the commercial aerospace and defense markets for over 32 years. SEKISUI Aerospace is a leading designer and producer of advanced composite structures, systems, and engine components using thermoset and thermoplastic technology for the global aerospace industry. Headquartered in Renton, Washington, SEKISUI Aerospace has additional facilities located in Sumner, Washington and Orange City, Iowa with a total of 570 employees.