SAERTEX Q&A session with Composites in Manufacturing
The SAERTEX success story began in 1982 with the concept of producing technical reinforcing materials in the form of stitch-bonded fabrics, or non-crimp fabrics (NCF), instead of conventional textiles, and leveraging existing specialist knowledge to develop completely new products.
Although corporate expansion has made it necessary to establish new locations around the world, much of the old pioneering spirit still remains today. This is particularly evident in the company’s determination to constantly seek new directions and display the courage to pursue them.
With sales of approx. €350 million, SAERTEX has become a global market leader in the production of technical textiles and systems made of glass, carbon and aramid fibres. And with a total of 1,400 employees at 15 manufacturing facilities on five continents – together with an active sales and distribution network in over 50 countries – customers have come to depend on fibre-reinforced composites that offer light weight, stability and corrosion resistance thanks to reinforcement materials from SAERTEX.
Q) Has the company made any key capital manufacturing equipment purchases of late and if so, what and why?
Benedikt Staaks, aerospace account manager of SAERTEX
Benedikt Staaks (BS): We recently invested in the extension of our carbon NCF production capacity through new machines and modification of existing machines. However, one of the most important factors for success is the constant desire for optimisation – even in the smallest areas. The mass of improvements we work on ultimately ensure our products meet the very highest quality standards – especially in the field of technical improvement regarding the optimisation of certain mechanical properties. To meet these requirements, we have recently invested in new NCF machines. The same applies to new production technology in the area of powder coating.
Another special added value is offered by our online quality inspection system (SDC). Using image analysis and the integration of electronics, we are able to examine the inner layers within multiaxials. For our customers, this means total assurance of quality regarding the required characteristic values. Our system prevents substandard products from being shipped.
Q) What do you feel are the most important assets of a company?
Sven Blank, aerospace unit director of SAERTEX
Sven Blank (SB): A company draws its strength from the interplay of many factors. Nevertheless, it always begins and ends with the most important factor: the people within the organisation. The most valuable part is the human capital and any plans to move your business to the next level start there.
This is especially true for us, as we do everything we can to give the customer that little bit extra. The offering of excellent products is not enough anymore. We want to make the difference by going the extra mile, having reliable performance, being close to the customer and offer the highest competence achievable. All this is only possible with motivated and well-trained personnel who stand 100% behind these values and the resulting service orientation.
SAERTEX’s headquarters in Saerbeck, Germany
Read the full session in the February/March edition of Composites in Manufacturing.