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30th May 2014, Leicester

Formax officially opens its new UK automotive production facility

Formax, the leading manufacturer of carbon fibre and speciality composite reinforcements, has officially opened its new 5,000m² automotive production facility at the company’s headquarters in Leicestershire.

The local MP for South Leicestershire, the Right Honourable Andrew Robathan, was invited to publically open the new premises alongside Oliver Wessely, Formax’s Managing Director.

The local MP for South Leicestershire, the Right Honourable Andrew Robathan, was invited to publically open the new premises alongside Oliver Wessely, Formax’s Managing Director. © Formax

The Rt Hon Andrew Robathan commented: “Formax is a very impressive and forward thinking company and it is great to see the business committed to the development of innovative technologies. The level of expansion they have undertaken in recent years and the positive effect this has on the UK manufacturing industry as a whole is very encouraging.”

On-going investment

This latest expansion, worth EUR 2.5million, is part of Formax’s on-going investment to deliver highly optimised carbon multiaxials to manufacturers of high volume automotive programmes.

The new 35 metre multiaxial machine is expected to allow Automotive OEM’s and Tier 1’s to design a bespoke fabric or perform to fit both the structure being built and the manufacturing process, whether it is Class A body panels, BIW structure or impact resistant long fibre reinforced parts that are required. This, according to the company, ensures a fast, cost effective and efficient conversion of carbon fibre into parts.

Formax Multiaxial Auto Machine. © Formax

Oliver Wessely, Formax’s Managing Director, explained: “As a key supplier to the Automotive Industry, we believe this investment lays the foundations for the next phase of Formax’s development as the move towards lightweighting, and consequently carbon fibre structures, gathers pace”.

Tailoring fabric for specific parts

The machine is equipped with three axes, capable of laying ply angles from 20° through to 90° with both in-line and off-line spreading technology, allowing engineers to specify larger, lower cost, carbon fibre tows, with ply weights starting from just 50gsm.

The machine is also equipped with electronic pattern cams. This facilitates the creation of fabric specific stitch patterns, which, combined with Formax’s extensive research into simulating drape, is said to provide the company with a unique capability to tailor fabric for specific parts.

www.formax.co.uk

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