Vicki Holt, president and CEO of Protolabs (Maple Plain, Minn.), keynoted the General Session of CAMX 2019 yesterday morning and explored for the audience her company’s keys to success as a leading source of fully digital rapid prototyping and on-demand manufacturing services.
Holt, who has a background in composite materials via work at Montsanto and PPG, has led Protolabs for the last six years and has helped the company grow to 12 global locations providing fast-turnaround manufacturing services via CNC, injection molding, additive manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication. Protolabs works entirely via an e-commerce portal and converts CAD-based designs into finished parts in just a matter of days.
During her presentation, Holt outlined six lessons she has learned at Protolabs. First, she said, iteration and prototyping are most effective when deployed quickly. “If there’s a big problem to solve, you can get a lot of value solving it quickly, she said.”
Second, she said, is that solutions require access to employees with diverse backgrounds who are willing and able to re-think and question assumptions, and in the process find new ways of meeting goals.
Third, I learned “how important it is to get a minimal viable product out into the marketplace quickly so that you can learn and iterate.” That is, the sooner a product is on the market, the sooner you can evaluate its fit and effectiveness.
Fourth, Holt said, is to stay true to your core – identify the habits and strategies that differentiate your business and continually fine-tune and optimize those. “Stay true to that source of differentiation,” she said.
Fifth, timing is everything, she said. At Protolabs, the birth of B2B commerce occurred nearly simultaneously with the birth of the company in 1999, and that became the foundation from which all of the company’s products and services grew.
Sixth, Holt said, “How we work makes a big difference.” Protolabs has a highly defined culture based on collaboration, change, multifunctionalism and learning. “We take culture very, very seriously,” she said. “If it gets away from us, we know that we will not become the company that we want to become.”
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Source | Composites World
SAERTEX (Saerbeck, Germany) announced that it has acquired full shares in TK Industries GmbH (Selbitz, Germany), a medium-sized manufacturer of heavy-tow, multiaxial carbon fiber fabrics.
According to SAERTEX, TK Industries’ manufacturing technology is optimized for the use of cost-efficient 24K and 50K rovings, which complements SAERTEX’s current range of multiaxial fabrics. Applicable markets include the industrial and transport sectors, boatbuilding, marine, wind energy and infrastructure. SAERTEX plans to use common resources in purchasing, production and distribution.
“The acquisition of TK Industries will provide us with additional capacity in the short term to meet the ever-increasing demand for carbon fiber fabrics and thus enable improved delivery times for our customers,” says Christoph Geyer, CEO of SAERTEX Group.
“We have seen initial successes and are confident that, through the close collaboration, we will further enhance our range of multiaxial carbon fabrics. Our strength lies in spreading heavy tows at low areal weights and processing them into lightweight NCFs [non-crimp fabrics],” says Mirko Ackermann, operations manager at TK Industries.
Source | Composites World
Notice is hereby given of the 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Mandela Bay Composites Cluster to be held at Plastics/SA, Midrand on Wednesday 16 October 2019 at 10h00.
Furthermore, we would welcome your industry nominations for appointments to the Board signed by yourself as the Proposer and the Nominee as acceptance, together with a Seconder of your proposal (nomination form attached). Such written nomination, duly seconded should be in the hands of the MD by no later than 15 October 2019. The Nominee, by signing the acceptance, agrees to comply with the roles and responsibilities set out in the attached. There are two vacancies on the Board which must represent industry.
The Board will be elected at the Annual General Meeting. The office bearers will be elected by the Board at the first committee meeting subsequent to the Annual General Meeting.
We invite you to the 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Cluster and look forward to your attendance.
DATE: Wednesday 16 October 2019
VENUE: Plastics/SA, 18 Gazelle Avenue Corporate Park, South, Randjespark, Midrand, 1685
TIME: 10H00 SHARP
(REGISTRATION FROM 09H30)
RSVP: Email: [email protected] by Tuesday 15 October 2019 if you will be attending or sending proxy votes
ENQUIRIES: Andy Radford 072 375 3671
CLICK HERE for the formal notice
Twenty-three presenters, including several European-based advanced manufacturing experts will address the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on South Africa’s manufacturing sectors at the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show on November 27 and 28.
The international line-up includes Grafton LSR Ltd Engineering Director Mark Chapman whose team has engineered the Bloodhound – the most advanced straight-line racing car ever built – to attempt to set a new world land speed record currently at 1227.985km/h.
Germany’s Frank Henning of Frauenhofer, regarded as one of the world’s foremost light-weighting authorities and Kjelt van Rijswijk CEO of Netherlands company SAM|XL housed at Technical University Delft and JEC World International Sales Director Yohann Cailleau based in France, also add an international perspective to the event.
Six workshops over two days will address the impact of 4iR on the automotive, maritime and general manufacturing sectors and focus on the rise and applicability of composites and advanced materials and manufacturing technology and process.
Other confirmed speakers include Retail Motor Industry COO, Jan Schoeman, Progressus platform manager Dr Harry Teiffel, South Africa Fraunhofer senior advisor Oliver Damm and former Director of the Centre for Polymer Technology Bernard Reeksting.
Co-ordinator Andy Radford of the Mandela Bay Composites Cluster said the speaker line-up is likely to also include Toyota MD Andrew Kirby, the CSIR’s Director for Advanced Manufacturing Martin Sanne, Jendamark CEO, Quinton Uren and Dr Anton du Plessis of the University of Stellenbosch, among others.
The Show, which includes an exhibition, factory tour and Gala Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards and Banquet will take place at the iconic Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth with the support of the DTI and Mandela Bay Development Agency.
The Show, according to Radford, represents the largest gathering of Fourth Industrial Revolution roleplayers in Southern Africa.
It injected cash flows of R42,8m into the city’s business community in its inaugural edition, with Nelson Mandela Bay retaining host status for the second edition on November 27 and 28 this year.
The Show is hosted under the auspices of the DTI-supported, national Composites Cluster, in collaboration with government industry and academia.
Radford said the participation of over 3000 influential roleplayers positioned the inaugural Show as “Africa’s premier Initiative in the field supporting the triple helix model of innovation which involves interaction between academia, industry and governments, to foster economic and social development.”
Radford said plans announced by the AIDC EC to establish a globally inter-connected Smart Industrial Academy in the province, “attached to the prowess of global 4IR companies like Jendamark” positioned the Eastern Cape as a suitable host for the 2019 edition.
“The Advanced Manufacturing sector is highly fragmented in South Africa. Many associations and industry bodies promote advanced manufacturing but generally there is a lack of integration and awareness of even our own capabilities, which are substantial,” Radford said.
“Over 100 exhibitors showcasing three-dimensional printing, lasers, automation, virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, drones and materials of the future are exciting tools to encourage a new generation of engineers and scientists but we need to expose them and industry to these technologies and there is no time to waste, ” Radford said.
The Show includes the exhibition, workshops, tech demos, factory tour, a drone demonstration and the National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards.
For more information visit www.africanadvancedmanufacturingshow.co.za
Managing Director – Mandela Bay Composites Cluster
041 502 3713 or 072 375 3671
A test hut comprised of wood-plastic composite material, poplar and gum wood, which was produced from the invasive biomass that was cleared by the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries’ (DEFF) Working for Water programme was aboard the SA Agulhas II when she left for Gough Island yesterday.
DEFF held a send-off ceremony for the vessel and the Gough 65 Expedition team at the East Pier Shed yesterday, as they departed for this year’s annual relief voyage to Gough Island.
The department’s Deputy Director-General of Environmental Programmes, Dr. Guy Preston joined the take-over voyage to lead the team that constructed the test hut which will be stationed on the island.
The aim for deploying this hut to the island is to test the potential to use these materials for future island infrastructure, and particularly their capacity to withstand the harsh weather conditions on Gough Island, as they will also be used to accommodate the overwintering team. The success of this analysis will result in the opportunity to re-build the weather station on the island, using the material, and thus creating jobs for South Africans, as this process will then be extended to Marion Island and Antarctica.
The hut’s design attempts to provide a level of comfort that is more sympathetic to the team’s needs under the Island’s harsh conditions. It will also be equipped to meet the full needs of an emergency base for the team members when they conduct their field research away from the base.
Furthermore, the expedition team is also joined by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) who will undertake a multimillion-pound habitat restoration project to eradicate invasive mice from Gough Island in 2020. These mice are devastating the globally important native bird population and driving several species towards extinction. This voyage will see a major delivery of RSPB equipment to the island for depot until March 2020.
South Africa’s use of Gough Island is primarily to operate a full year weather observation station, one of three extremely important weather stations globally. The quality of South African and International weather forecasts relies heavily on the availability of data inputs from Gough Island region. Long term data observations are crucial to pick up climate change impacts and fluctuations.
In this regard, 10 drifting weather buoys will be deployed en-route to Gough Island as part of an international agreement.
Some of the functions that will be performed include collecting diet and blood samples from the various bird species on the island and weather observation through different seasons in the year.
Source | Maritime Review