Consistency of mold temperature and part temperature, day in and day out, regardless of shop temperature, is a tremendous value, particularly here in Maine. We initially had the plan of transferring the technology to other manufacturers but have been so focused on our own applications that we have not made a concerted marketing effort. But we’re still willing to do so. It provides a tremendous processing advantage for closed molding.
Where do you see the most potential for composite growth?
We see growth opportunities in several market sectors. Our business with pulp and paper, chemical and coal fired power remains solid. But we see continued growth and an increase in demand for the field services we offer – repairing, replacing and installing new composite piping, tank and cover systems. Our company is also experiencing growth within the government and military – the current shutdown not withstanding – because we have developed advanced closed molding manufacturing techniques. We can blend that expertise uniquely with our field service capabilities. Other sectors of opportunity include transportation and infrastructure. Our problem is not finding the opportunity but making sure we focus on specific applications where our company can add unique value.
What are the key issues you think that keeps the composites industry from growing?
No matter the market, the biggest challenge we face is gaining material acceptance from the engineering community. Through efforts of our industry and ACMA the acceptance has been improving. But it still remains our biggest challenge.
Regulatory issues, of course, concern me as well. But I have confidence that the collaboration within our industry, both in terms of educating the public as well as ongoing development of materials and processes, will address that challenge.