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11th October 2018, Northwich

Cygnet Texkimp launches narrow-tape slitting machine

Fibre handling and converting specialist Cygnet Texkimp has launched a narrow-tape slitter-spooler in a move to make carbon fibre slit tape more accessible to the wider composites market.

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.

The machine can slit up to 50 metres of prepreg per minute and create up to 48 tapes at once. © Cygnet Texkimp

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 C to prevent it from curing, the company explains.

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.

The machine enables prepreg manufacturers to vertically integrate the slitting process into their production lines. © Cygnet Texkimp

“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,” explained Cygnet Texkimp Managing Director Luke Vardy.

“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.”

Cygnet Texkimp has begun selling the machine to the international composite manufacturing market. © Cygnet Texkimp

“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.”

Cygnet Texkimp is focused in the technical materials market, but its roots go back to the traditional textiles market of the 1970s. In the last four decades, the company, which created some of the first ever carbon fibre creels for the military aerospace sector, has evolved with a portfolio that includes advanced creels, prepreg, coating, tape-slitting and filament-winding equipment for the international aerospace, automotive, wind energy and sporting good sectors.

Cygnet Texkimp will be exhibiting at CAMX 2018, in Dallas, TX, next week.

www.cygnet-texkimp.com

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