The power of partnership was undeniable during the second day at CAMX. IACMI and the Closed Mold Alliance, including Magnum Venus Products and Composites One, stole the show during a live press collaboration announcement. The partnership will initiate four schools in 2016 focused on advanced processing and closed mold materials. The training sessions will cover topics relating to advanced materials, wind energy, and automotive market advances in composites, and are being led by Oak Ridge National Lab, The National Renewable Energy Lab, Purdue University, and Michigan State University.

Magnum Venus Products along with the Closed Mold Alliance will play a big role in boosting manufacturing in the U.S. They hope to make an impact by engaging academia to develop and establish more efficient processing systems, specifically in infusion and carbon fiber technology. Peter Hedger Sr., President of MVP, told the crowd this is only the beginning, stating, “Our partnership here is something we want to pursue with others as well”. “We want to break down barriers to help move the composites industry forward,” he says.

As industry experts combine their recourses, everyone is looking to the future. During IACMI’s morning session, CEO Craig Blue laid out three clear goals: to significantly lower carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) cost by 25-50%; reduce CFRP embodied energy by 50-75%, and reach 80-95% composite recyclability in useful products. All of these goals require one thing, cost effective carbon fiber. The key according to Lonnie Love, Corporate Fellow at Oak Ridge National Lab, lies in finding fundamental improvement in processing costs.

The process improvement, partnership and workforce development conversations continued during an afternoon session on Manufacturing Institutes.  Institute leaders explained the current manufacturing impact of material joining, cross cut technologies and accelerating technologies and why it matters in the industry today.  Larry Brown, LIFT Executive Director, described material use as a parallel between the metal and composite industries.  “While metals have been around since the stone-age, what’s new is the material use and how we’re innovating manufacturing,” said Brown.  He added perspective on workforce development innovation tools such as LIFT’s “K to Gray curriculum” that are creatively and effectively changing the manufacturing workforce.   All institute leaders reinforced the value of collaborating with industry partners to create a rich manufacturing base of cross-pollination learnings.

Look for more details on the Closed Mold Alliance Workshops in early 2016.