How can composites companies improve their business techniques?
In addition to being cost-competitive and showing more evidence on the life-cycle factor, I don’t get the same sense that everyone in the industry is pulling together in one boat. When I think about concrete or steel, there are national associations that are umbrella groups to those materials. I don’t know if I see that same relationship on the composites side.
That association does exist, so what can ACMA do better?
They just need to make sure they are the voice speaking for all manufacturers of composites. Some of these systems are proprietary in nature. But even if they are, these formulas still need to be shared. The state DOTs need to know about engineering properties and design.
Is that a particular problem with the composites industry?
When it comes to actual projects, we need to have generic specifications. IBRC was a popular program with a lot of FRP projects. In that program, we specified a particular supplier to provide a deck for a project. We need to graduate from that and get into more generic specification of FRP deck sections and not get specific products worked into projects. That is something still happening with suppliers. They want to know where they can get their product specified instead of pulling for the common good.