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Experts believe that automated technologies will enable large-scale manufacturing of automotive composite lightweight parts which will lead to a multi-material design for future vehicle production.

Industry is invited to learn from One of the world’s foremost light-weighting experts Dr. Frank Henning on the drivers, scope and scale of this change and what it practically means to the steel-heavy automotive supply chain.

Henning will speak about this and future trends of automated manufacturing in the automotive sector at one of several workshop’s at the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show on November 27 and 28.

Henning says as much as two-thirds of global innovation is based on material innovation, Smart phones that are continuously updated and iterated, are a case in point., “The technological iteration in the field of composite materials has largely created the possibilities for smart phone extensions, so material technology innovation is a very important foundation for future innovation.”

Henning and Fraunhofer ICT has been involved in the lightweight research and development of all BMW models and is an authority in lightweighting automobiles and mass production of composite parts.

He is instrumental in the establishment of Asia’s largest automotive lightweighting research facility  – the  Advanced Composite Technology Center in China, where Fraunhofer ICT and a Chinese partner have reached a framework agreement on cooperation in the development of high-performance composite products and processes.

Henning has headed up Fraunhofer Project centers in Korea, London and Canada. He is currently a Director at Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Germany.

Henning holds a Ph.D. degree in Composites Engineering from the Universität Stuttgart in Germany. He has published numerous articles in refereed journals and owns patents in the field of polymer manufacturing. He was awarded multiple times for his achievements and introduced materials and technologies in industrial applications. He has more than 20 years of experience in polymer engineering with a special focus on composite processing.


Diversified composites manufacturer BFG Africa opens new facility

Diversified composites manufacturer BFG Africa opens new facility

A composites manufacturing facility owned by BFG Africa (Germiston, South Africa) has opened a new composites manufacturing facility in Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa. The 9,500m2 factory is said to be the first of its kind in South Africa, producing materials made of fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) for applications across the infrastructure, mining, automotive, transport and architectural sectors.

BFG Africa is the pan-African subsidiary of one of the largest and oldest diversified composites manufacturers in the world, BFG International. BFG Africa is majority black-owned, with 51% acquired in June 2018 by the Mergence group, a diversified financial services group founded in 2014.

Masimo Magerman, managing director of Mergence, says, “We were delighted to provide BFG International with a local partner that can assist with unlocking further opportunities in the composites space. Our objective is job creation and skills development and to grow the black industrialist sector in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa.”

Dr Samer Aljishi, group president of BFG International, adds, “Currently 27 people are employed by BFG Africa, 18 of whom underwent extensive training in Bahrain. The company is well-positioned to benefit from the roll-out of transport infrastructure and rolling-stock (interiors and claddings) renewable energy projects (composite-based wind turbines) and automotive projects.”

As an initial contract, entered into with the Gibela Rail Transport Consortium, BFG Africa will clad the interiors of a fleet of 600 commuter trains that will be supplied to the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) over a 10-year period. The first delivery on this project was met in May 2019.

BFG Africa is also working on an affordable emergency housing solution, whereby lightweight collapsible structures can be transported and erected within hours to disaster areas.

Managing director of BFG Africa, Arshad Gove, says, “The factory is regarded as one of the best of its kind in the world, with state-of-the-art equipment, including several specialized presses. The manufacturing processes include tooling, open contact molding, resin transfer molding, painting, SMC material production, SMC press molding, vacuum infusion, assembly and product integration.

“Composites fiberglass has replaced conventional materials in locomotive, buildings and specialized applications,” says Grove. “Composites fiberglass as a ‘material of the future’ has an imprint in many developed nations and we are excited to be leading the charge with applications in Africa in areas of architecture, rail and transport, wind energy, housing and many other areas by using this advanced material.”

Source | Composites World

Get involved and share National Composites Week with us and the world

Get involved and share National Composites Week with us and the world

Below are suggestions of events/ideas that may suit you and your company.

  • Host a plant tour, open house or other public event, designed to showcase your company’s capabilities and expertise.
  • Use your company’s website, social media and contact list to celebrate National Composites Week by highlighting success stories about what your firm does in the industry that impacts peoples’ lives.
  • Highlight unique applications of composite materials employed by your company/facility. Include photos/video of the part and the processes used to produce it.
  • Reach out to STEM students at universities or TVET colleges in your area to promote careers in the industry and within your company.
  • Put together information that your employees can take home and share with their families. Many plant workers are not familiar with the important work they support. Use this week to pro-actively communicate with your own employees so they can go home and share the interesting things they do and technologies they support.

One of the keys to a successful National Composites Week event is make sure it gets attention, whether from local media or via social media. Because of this, it will be important that you be prepared to share images and video of your National Composites Week event with local media, social media like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and your company’s own website.

Most of all, we encourage you to have fun with your National Composites Week event/awareness initiative — the composites industry is dynamic and creative, and we are confident you can apply that same dynamism and creativity to your celebration.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed National Composites Week to be observed the last week of August annually.

Bloodhound LSR announces high speed test dates

Bloodhound LSR announces high speed test dates

We’re delighted to announce that Bloodhound LSR and the Bloodhound team will be going to Hakskeen Pan in South Africa in October 2019 for high speed testing.

The plans were confirmed at a press conference on 9th July by Bloodhound LSR CEO Ian Warhurst: “I’m thrilled that we can announce Bloodhound’s first trip to South Africa for these high speed testing runs.”

Ian went on to talk about this being the first world land speed record campaign of the digital era. “This world land speed record campaign is unlike any other, with the opportunities opened up by digital technology that enabled the team to test the car’s design using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and that will allow us to gather and share data about the car’s performance in real time.”

Why High Speed Testing?

As we reported in the last newsletter, the Bloodhound LSR team has been hard at work preparing the car for these high speed test runs, upgrading and changing many aspects of the car following the successful low speed test runs at Cornwall Airport Newquay in 2017.

We’ll be using the high speed runs to test the car’s performance and handling at much higher speeds. It will also be a full dress rehearsal for the overall record-breaking campaign. This will include developing operational procedures, perfecting our practices for desert working and testing radio communications.

One of the most obvious changes to the car is the wheels, which have been swapped for the specially designed solid aluminium desert wheels. At the press conference Ian explained: “We’re running the car on a brand new surface. The wheels have been designed specifically for this desert lake bed, but it will still be vital to test them at high speeds before making record speed runs.”


Source | Bloodhound Land Speed Record

Future Production Technologies Convention

Future Production Technologies Convention

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) will herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management and governance.

The Convention will give the delegates an insight into the new and emerging technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), the impact this will have on the manufacturing sector, the opportunities this will offer to the sector, and how companies and business should adapt to 4IR.

For more details, the delegate fees and online booking, please visit http://www.sbs.co.za/fptc2019

CLICK HERE for the full programme