CAMX Showcases Composite Industry Leaders
With WECO International and Ceramicx leading the marketplace of the USA to meet the dynamic technologies of reinforced materials –good things are bound to happen. We’re happy to share the results of a successful Ceramicx foray into the North American composite marketplace.
The occasion was CAMX, the Orlando based annual USA composite materials exhibition, which had been postponed because of bad weather moving it from September 2017 to December 2017.
Frank Wilson, Ceramicx founder and director attended the exhibition, together with personnel from WECO International, distributor for Ceramicx in North America. WECO Operations Director Tony Tenore counts off several positives from the CAMX experience.
- We had the ability to connect in person with some good customers of ours
- We all gained knowledge about “who” is a composite customer outside of the aerospace industry
- We greatly benefited from collecting information on our non- Infrared (IR) heating competitors.
Improving Composite Processes
Tenore adds that “we also gained several perspectives on the features of US composite as a whole. For example we learned what might be considered a commodity item versus something that has more critical value.”
Unsurprisingly perhaps,WECO and Ceramicx used the CAMX event to educate the composite industries about the properties of Infrared (IR) energy.
“In no way do I seek to discredit the knowledge, ability and capabilities of the sector,” says Tenore. “But heat is in fact mainly viewed as a commodity in the composite industry. Once we are given the ability to connect with someone and explore their manufacturing process, infrared (IR) then becomes a technological advantage versus a commodity. This is part of the challenge that we recognize and relish.”
Tenore also noted that “controls utilized as a standard in the majority of the composites processes are considered basic when we compare them to WECO/Ceramicx capability. We definitely view this as an advantage. For the right customer advanced controls will be tied in with advanced and precise heat sources.”
“Another key learning point for myself,” adds Tenore, “was the fact that the majority of composite processes are set in stone once they are proven out and put into production. This is a double edged sword – great if you are the company on the spec, but difficult if you are not there at the beginning. On the upside, the take away was to be vigilant for new applications and to be cautious troubleshooting an older existing process.”
Getting to Know the Composite Industry
If any exhibitor walked out of the show and did not remember Frank and have a piece of Ceramicx literature I would be very surprised. Frank and Brett Wehner, WECO founder, appeared to have connected with every single booth at the show. This connection gave us another great source for knowledge about the industry and how it flows.
“All in all, CAMX provided a great experience and gave us the personal knowledge that we not only belong in the industry but can excel in the industry – and far above our competition, since we provide just the right approach to the market” says Tenore.
WECO president Brett Wehner says that “we were delighted with the interest and opportunities presented to us in Florida. We interacted with several existing customers utilizing our IR solutions as well as finding new names, businesses and opportunities throughout the world involved in aerospace, automotive and industrial processes. In addition, we discussed the benefits of infrared energy being utilized in new uncharted applications.
Wehner’s view is that “Infrared heating and composite processing when taken together is at a fairly sunrise stage in development. However, there is no question that the materials and the IR technology work really well together. We therefore anticipate ‘ground-floor’ growth and opportunity in helping improve composite heat work with Ceramicx infrared products and solutions.”
Tenore added that “having the added expertise of Tadhg Whooley and Frank Wilson in the booth was a definite and incalculable plus. Their knowledge of heating methods and IR energy made a massive difference, especially when talking to new customers, all using different materials. Between Ceramicx and WECO there are very few heat work solutions that have not been heard of or tested in one way or another!”