Why is the thermoplastic market able to grow faster than thermoset?
It comes down to cycle time. If you can make a part in two minutes instead of 40 minutes, then the labor content versus price is much better. In a high volume production car of, for instance, 120,000 plus cars built a year, if it took 40 minutes for each part, that’s a lot of hours! Simply put, thermoplastics have the advantage over thermoset in faster cycle times.
How is the North American market different from others?
The U.S. is recognized as the largest single market for composites and overall use higher volume processes more that in the emerging markets. Many manufacturing technologies are advanced comparatively in Europe and North America, so they’re both ahead of the global curve in cycle times and higher quality parts.
In North America we have a lot of recreational products. Our economy is built that way because of our standard of living. That in itself brings out all sorts of unique applications such as sport fishing boats and recreational boats So many new consumer markets are different and growing, which provides opportunities for composites. North American companies are also innovators in the anti-corrosion field, making pipes and tanks. Now other parts of the world are using that technology for their own economies in applications such as water purification, chemical processing and mining.
Jushi introduced a new fire retardant product earlier this year, how will that change the industry?
The world will always try to drive to lower costs. As a company, if we can develop a glass fiber that helps with fire retardancy (where there is a high demand) as well as reduce costs and manufacturing complexities to customers, then you better service them and increase market demand of composites across the supply chain. Jushi is committed to stay focused on what the customers’ needs are and remain responsive to those.
How does Jushi get feedback from customers?
In North America we have a technical team to support our customers, listen to their feedback and report back the needs to Jushi’s engineers for product development. For example, that’s how we started focusing on fire retardant materials. Combined, our technical staff has over 120 years of experience in North America; they go out to our customer’s operations and determine customer needs then and there. It is their job to communicate needs so the customer doesn’t have to worry about miscommunication or a slow turn around.