Ever-expanding modern technology continues to provide huge opportunities for the fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) and composites industry. Such growth and change inevitably present new challenges, as well. The petroleum, automotive, marine, and green technology industries, for example, require more highly-customized, user-friendly, and economical FRP solutions to meet their manufacturing needs. In addition, slow processing times and the high cost of materials continue to create obstacles to efficient manufacturing. But Magnus Venus Products (MVP), the premier manufacturer of composite application equipment, with products ranging from pumping systems, spray guns, and filament winding systems to polyureas, adhesives, and epoxies, leads the way in designing solutions to meet new challenges in the FRP industry.

MVP’s genesis was in 1938, when Jim Hedger, Sr., was working in spray coatings distribution in Chicago. As his business grew into the largest FRP distributor in North America, he saw tremendous potential in the emerging fiberglass industry. In the early 1970’s, he founded Magnum Industries for the design and manufacture of spray-up fiberglass manufacturing equipment. After years of success, in 2000, Hedger’s company merged with Venus Products, a pioneer in the FRP industry that was the first to design, patent, and produce internal mix fiberglass spray technology. The result was MVP, which continues to be the leader in fiberglass spray equipment design and manufacturing. But perhaps most importantly, MPV is still family owned and maintains plants across the United States.

Just one example of MVP’s leadership is their UltraBond 1:1 and 10:1 Systems for dispensing methacrylate adhesives. As usual, the systems combine the latest technology with the best materials for the most efficient output possible. Inside each system are double-acting piston pumps, stainless steel transfer pumps, and interlocked proportioner pumps. Material is pumped into a low-pressure static mixer, which provides a completely integrated mix, which is then delivered at a rate of 18 to 20 lb./min. The dispensing units provide a ratio check feature along with a “night cap” to ensure isolation of each material, preventing accidental material crossover when the system is not operating. The systems help address two problems inherent in FRP production: waste of materials and slow process times.

Material waste is costly for FRP manufacturers. Dispensing systems sometimes must run for some time, ejecting costly but unusable material, before achieving the proper mix ratio. The UltraBond Systems relieve this problem by providing a ratio check feature at the dispensing end. This allows for the ratio to be set with minimal waste, adjusted, if need be, and then locked in. The ease of using the ratio check allows the operator to check the mix ratio quickly, leading to faster production time. Further, there is less chance of an unnoticed bad mix ratio leading to scrapped parts. Another feature reducing chance of waste is the “night cap” feature. Applied upon system shutdown, it prevents accidental crossover of materials, which could lead to wasted material, a gummed-up system, and wasted time for cleaning.

Slow processing time is another challenge met by the UltraBond Systems. Where the required mix ratio is off, curing time can be lengthened. Having the ratio check at the dispensing end, along with simplifying the adjustment, allows the operator to set the ratio exactly as needed and lock it in, confident that the material being ejected is properly and precisely mixed for the job.

MVP continually seeks improvement of its products for FRP manufacturers. “We’re growing about 10-11 percent average over the last five years,” says Peter Hedger, Jr., the grandson of company founder, Jim Hedger. The growth can be attributed primarily to one fact: each piece of MVP equipment is the culmination of customer-focused innovations addressing ergonomics, modularity, ease of maintenance, flexibility, efficiency, and quality of components.

MVP – still a family business, still in America, and still the best fiberglass spray equipment on earth.

MVP offers a wide range of equipment for composites processing – chopper guns, equipment for closed-mold infusion/resin transfer molding, filament winders, a pultrusion process that uses high pressure injection into a die, and pumping systems for applying adhesives used in many products such as cars, buses, boats, and bathtubs – and it all started with our fiberglass spray equipment!

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