We’ve done things from light RTM training, the local education programs, our CNC mill suppliers for CNC mill training and so on.
In the next few years, what industry do you feel will see the most growth in the use of composites?
I think it’s going to be in the transportation and construction areas. The government has mandated so much with fuel efficiency and the truck fleets in this nation are so old. Things like farm equipment have not been progressing well over the years. We see a large push in the composites direction from the construction and transportation industries. And the ever evolving structural uses of composites in the construction industry for roads, bridges, light poles and so on, there’s a lot of advancement going on there. With the depletion of raw materials such as lumber and the cost of steel, composites seem to have a natural fit.
In your opinion, what would help the composites industry expand?
I think it’s in educating the end users about what composites can do for them. When you’re competing with other materials and trying to break into other markets it can be difficult. Organizations, like ACMA, and suppliers have to reach out to end users by inviting them to regional events with suppliers and manufacturers and let them know what composites can do for them. Regional programs that keep the end users involved and educated is necessary to expanding the composites industry. We have to reach out and educate those individuals who will be purchasing composites.
What are the major challenges facing the composites industry today?
I would say that the federal government and the continual tightening of regulations and standards seem to make our jobs more challenging as well as consistently changing the playing field on an annual basis with restrictions. The rising cost of government is taking away from companies abilities to invest in capital innovation. If we had the opportunity to spend a lot of what we are spending in other areas on advancement, we could advance the industry a lot faster.
What is the best part about your job?
Working with the people that I work with as well as having the privilege and responsibility to lead and make the right decisions so that the people in our company can invest for the children’s future. That’s my favorite part of my job. And the people in this industry – certainly those who work for us – really enjoy what they do. They get to create a wide range of things. I really enjoy being a part of the family of manufacturers in this country and working with the other company leaders around the world.