Fakuma: Aiming for the top with Victrex
Thornton Cleveleys (UK), Hofheim (Germany) – On the Victrex stand at the Fakuma trade fair, the focus will be on striving to help customers reach the top of their game by differentiation and exploiting new market opportunities faster. Fundamental to this is Victrex’s continuous development as a provider of polyaryletherketone (PAEK)-based complete solutions that address market and application challenges. The acquisition of Kleiss Gears, a US specialist in thermoplastic gears, and the PAEK capacity expansion are just two recent examples of the company´s focus on extending capabilities to help accelerate product introductions in important markets of automotive, aerospace, electronics, energy and medical.
At the Fakuma trade fair from 13th to 17th October 2015 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, Victrex will, in particular, be presenting solutions for the automotive industry, a focus segment for the company. Associated benefits include greater fuel efficiency and driving comfort, and an extended service life, all achieved through refinements such as a reduced moment of inertia, less complex parts, new design approaches, and greater functional integration. In addition, the VICTREX™ PAEK materials are produced economically on conventional thermoplastic machines with high-temperature capabilities. Importantly, this makes it possible to use the injection-molding process to mass produce complex and elaborate high-performance components, without subsequent tempering or machining.
Facilitating progress in industries with VICTREX PAEK-based solutions
To address specific market challenges, Victrex is working with its customers and improving future performance through innovation in polyaryletherketone (PAEK) materials. These include the VICTREX PEEK family as well as downstream areas such as APTIV™ films, VICTREX™ Pipes and tapes and medical technology components, or advanced options in the case of gears. ”We have an important goal in view: to create value through high-performance polymer solutions in our focused sectors. In this way, we are able to help our customers solve problems, using our specific expertise and investment in R&D and technology aligned with the markets. This helps our customers excel in innovation and improve their performance”, explains Rainer Müller, Regional Sales Manager at Victrex.
Reducing development cycles: new options for gear solutions
The acquisition of Kleiss Gears, a US gear specialist with over 20 years’ experience, is also intended to assist in achieving this goal. The move unites Kleiss Gears’ combination of plastic optimized, innovative gear design and testing, and its manufacturing capability, with Victrex’s material know-how, innovation-focused technical expertise and global footprint.
“No matter whether the customer is looking for a materials solution or a complete system solution, we now have the ability to speed up the development and adoption of PEEK-based gear applications and meet the tough requirements of applications such as those found in the automotive industry. Building on the expertise of Kleiss Gears, we can provide our customers with more customized services and products”, continues Müller. The main benefits of solutions based on Victrex´s high-performance plastics are a reduction in noise vibration harshness (NVH) of up to 50% and a significant reduction in energy consumption and weight compared to metal gears.
New technologies and optimum production processes for world-class efficiency
Victrex also continues to be involved in pioneering technologies and their application in the aerospace sector. A major theme at Fakuma is achieving greater production efficiency – including parts consolidation – in processes such as:
- The advanced hybrid-molding process: This allows engineers to combine the strength of continuous fibre-reinforced VICTREX PAEK composites with the design flexibility of PEEK injection-molding solutions. Hybrid molding enables the more cost-efficient production of a component in minutes, whereas the process for metal or thermosetting solutions can take hours.
- The fusible-core technology of the Dutch injection-molding specialist Egmond Plastic BV, which can achieve cost savings of over 30% in the manufacture of complex pump housings, combined with top-class performance and a weight savings of up to 50% compared with conventionally machined metal components.
- The British precision injection-molding specialist Denroy Plastics Ltd. has joined forces with Victrex and Bombardier to develop an optimized bracket technology, and small to medium-size brackets previously cut from aluminum and titanium can now be replaced with VICTREX PEEK-based units. These will last the lifetime of the aircraft, while radically reducing weight and costs.
Victrex already provides an extensive portfolio of products, technologies and services in support of sophisticated applications in many key sectors – and is making every effort to continue to move forward and define the future.
Victrex at Fakuma in Friedrichshafen, Germany, 13 – 17 October 2015: Hall A4, Stand 4106.