Tri-Mack Expands Capabilities to Meet Aerospace Supply Chain Challenges
04/14/2015 | News in
Responds with new lightweight materials, aggressive turnaround and strong NPI support
Bristol, RI, April 14, 2015—The aerospace industry is thriving—and is predicted to continue on an upward trajectory into the next decade. Demand for new aircraft is expected to support annual industry-wide growth of approximately seven percent, an increase of more than 50 percent by 2021.
As the expansion continues, new materials development is emerging as a clear winner in the search for more cost-effective solutions for keeping fuel costs down as passenger-miles soar. Industry customers are increasingly asking their suppliers to provide lighter, yet stronger composite material alternatives to aircraft components that have traditionally been made from metal.
Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corporation, a leading manufacturer of high-performance engineered components, has found the formula for meeting their clients’ needs for lower cost, lightweight, high-quality thermoplastic parts and assemblies through a combination of innovative technology, materials expertise and customer collaboration. While other suppliers have downsized and outsourced, the 40 year-old company recently hired almost three dozen new employees, opened a new Advanced Composites Center, and is already planning to expand its onsite facilities in Bristol, RI.
The Advanced Composites Center is dedicated to processing the latest thermoplastic composites (TPCs) that offer Tri-Mack’s customers in aerospace and other industries lightweight, robust, alternatives to heavier, more traditional materials. Key benefits of TPCs include:
TPCs are continuous fiber reinforced materials with exceptional mechanical properties. Tri-Mack works with prepreg tape and fabric—unidirectional and woven carbon and glass fibers in a high temperature polymer matrix—PEEK, PPS, PEI, etc.
TPCs offer 10x the mechanical properties of injection molded plastics and are up to 70% lighter than metals.
Tri-Mack uses automated equipment to lay-up the unidirectional prepreg tape, consolidate low void laminates and thermoform complex shapes. Lay-ups can be tailored to align fiber orientation to optimize the performance of the finished part.
TPCs are processed in minutes, not the hours required for thermoset composites. Unlike thermosets, TPCs’ cost-effective manufacturing does not require freezers, autoclaves, or hand lay-ups.
Tri-Mack produces hybrid components that combine the performance of TPCs with injection molding to create complex assemblies. Hybrids feature the key advantages of both processes: the outstanding mechanical properties of thermoplastic composites and the low cost of injection molding.
Tri-Mack recently completed a project to qualify over 200 part numbers for a large aerospace OEM—at an accelerated schedule. By converting the parts from steel to TPC, the company was also able to achieve an average weight savings of 40% percent for its customer.
“A tremendous amount of development goes into every aerospace project,” says Will Kain, Tri-Mack president. “Naturally, at times this strains capacity at the OEM level. We’ve always viewed our role as that of a valued supply chain partner, helping our clients complete their projects and meet their weight-savings goals. One key aspect of the Tri-Mack formula is that we’ve become an extension of our customers’ engineering teams.
“In this partner role, we are helping customers by increasing our facility size, staff, and by adding cutting-edge research and technology,” states Kain. “Tri-Mack is more than a component manufacturer; we’re managing processes, data and aggressive new product introduction schedules. This leads to success for all the parties involved.”
Tri-Mack provides their clients with access to an impressive technology lineup—which, in addition to their Advanced Composites Center, includes injection and compression molding, precision multi-axis machining, tool making, and a robotic injection molding cell
—all backed by years of experience. From design for manufacturing to metal-to-plastic conversion, Tri-Mack’s main objective is that each part they produce meets their clients’ exact needs, whatever the materials involved.
“Going forward, Tri-Mack’s continuous investment in capital equipment, technology and people ensures that we will be able to further increase our capacity, as well as offer our customers the very latest manufacturing technologies,” says Kain.
In addition to serving the aerospace industry, Tri-Mack also provides high-performance parts for critical applications in the chemical processing, medical, electronics, and industrial equipment markets.
About Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corporation
Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corporation is an innovative engineering and manufacturing company specializing in high temperature thermoplastics and thermoplastic composites. For 40 years, customers have relied on Tri-Mack to identify the best material, part design, and manufacturing process for their critical applications. Engineering expertise, cutting-edge technology and a commitment to quality enable Tri-Mack to support projects from initial concept to commercial production. Tri-Mack’s award-winning manufacturing capabilities include automated composite processing, injection molding, tool making, multi-axis machining, bonding and assembly. ISO 9001:2008, AS9100 and NADCAP certified, Tri-Mack serves the aerospace, industrial equipment, chemical processing and medical industries. For more information, please visit www.trimack.com
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Director of Sales and Marketing
Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corporation
Tel : +1 401 272 1510