Hexcel Corporation, a leading manufacturer of advanced composite materials, and Web Industries, a leader in custom manufacturing and development services for flexible materials, have formed a long-term supply agreement under which Web Industries will convert Hexcel’s HexPly carbon fiber prepreg into slit tape for Aerospace programs, including the Airbus A350 XWB. As part of this agreement, Web will establish and operate a dedicated world class slitting operation within Hexcel’s newly expanded prepreg facility in Stade, Germany.
Using their proprietary PrecisonSlit carbon fiber slit tape technology and processes, Web Industries will convert Hexcel’s carbon fiber prepreg into various formats of precision slit tape. This slit tape is used on Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) manufacturing lines to make many of the composite structures found on the latest aircraft programs. These prepregs require strict operational and environmental conditions, and co-locating the slit tape operation within Hexcel’s Stade plant will provide outstanding environmental control and quality assurance.
“We are delighted to welcome Web Industries to our Stade, Germany site. This agreement represents a significant partnership for our two companies and the combination of Hexcel’s advanced carbon fiber materials and Web’s precision composites converting will provide a unique service to our customers in Europe, Russia and the Middle East who will benefit from even greater levels of quality and responsiveness, significantly reduced freight costs, less inventory and shorter lead times," says Hexcel president Nick Stanage.
“Web Industries is honored to be partnering with Hexcel at its Stade facility. It is a tremendous validation of our 20-plus year investment in serving the composites industry,” says Donald Romine, president and CEO of Web Industries.“The Stade operation will utilize some of the most advanced processes for creating state of the art prepreg slit tape, including our PrecisionSlit™ technology, and we’re excited to be working side-by-side with one of the leading companies in the composites industry.”
Construction on Web Industries’ facility should be completed by May 2012, and commercial-scale production is expected to ramp up by December. The operation will eventually employ up to 70 people.