Cygnet Texkimp has announced the opening of its new Innovation Centre to accelerate development and adoption of composites technologies.
Cygnet Texkimp (hall 5, stand M72) says its new Innovation Centre will receive its official launch at this year’s JEC World, held in Paris. The machine builder and composites technology company has created an open-access R&D centre at its headquarters in Cheshire as a development, prototyping and testing space.
Organisations from the composites and advanced materials industries can reserve time in the centre to carry out trials to optimise and validate their process design, evaluate materials, and gather evidence to prove their business case or justify investment.
The 15,000ft2 facility will house up to 20 full-scale machines from across the company’s entire product range including filament winding, prepreg processing, slitting and spooling, automation and recycling equipment.
Its creation marks the latest chapter in Cygnet Texkimp’s work to forward the interests of the composites and advanced materials industries through the development of equipment used in fibre processing, materials and part manufacturing and recycling.
The facility has been designed to complement existing industry support from academic institutions and the UK’s Catapult Network and is intended to help companies develop technologies from TRL 5 or 6 to commercial viability and on to full-scale production.
“Our Innovation Centre forms part of our commitment to reinvest in UK capability and to accelerate learning in this area of materials science, so that organisations involved in the development and application of advanced materials can achieve more and do so more quickly,” explains Cygnet Texkimp CEO Luke Vardy. “In this way we hope to create an asset for the world’s composites and advanced materials industry, and to support the work of the UK’s composites industry, including the Catapult Network and university-led innovation centres, as a world-class destination for composites technology.”
Open for business
Andy Whitham, director of process development at Cygnet Texkimp, says: “We’ve created an open-access facility with some of the most advanced fibre processing technologies in the world where academia and industry can come together to push the boundaries of innovation further while developing the next generation of advanced materials and parts.
“One of our principal aims is to enable the industrialisation of commercial projects from a lower TRL and in doing so allow smaller organisations to enjoy the same route to market that larger organisations enjoy while giving our customers overall greater access to innovation.
“We’re effectively backing the process development stage for companies that want to try out something new and novel, reducing the inherent commercial risk associated with investment in large-scale capital equipment.”
As a commercial engineering firm, Cygnet Texkimp has a 50-strong team of in-house R&D and product specialists, mechanical, electrical, software and design engineers to support the development work taking place in the company’s Innovation Centre.
“The breadth of expertise within our in-house engineering team means we can leverage other technologies to solve a particular problem and are ideally placed to manufacture specific items of equipment needed to complete a trial successfully,” says Whitham. “Having our own team of specialist software engineers, for example, is a valuable asset and means that operating improvements identified within a trial programme can be made quickly and securely to create the most effective tailored solution for each application.”
The centre will allow Cygnet Texkimp to show the full scope of its diverse and growing range of fibre processing equipment in one place.
“As a machine builder and fibre specialist, we’ve developed a full lifecycle of fibre processing technologies from handling and manufacturing to end-of-life management, recycling and repurposing,” Vardy concludes. “Being able to demonstrate the full extent of this capability under one roof is a pivotal moment for us and for the industries we serve.”