Department of Commerce hosts “Choose Washington” exhibit, business-to-business meetings in Paris at largest international gathering of composites professionals
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Commerce put finishing touches on its Choose Washington exhibit today in preparation for JEC World, March 14-16, the largest international trade show and conference for the fast-growing composites industry.
Washington’s delegation to this year’s event represents the full breadth and opportunity in this dynamic field, from raw carbon fiber production to recycling technology that enables a second product life for uncured aircraft carbon fiber composite scrap.
With nearly 100 advanced manufacturing companies, 230 materials scientists and some of the least expensive clean power in the world, Washington researchers and businesses make up a “who’s who” of innovation in the new materials that are transforming everything from aircraft and automobiles to high-end sports equipment, musical instruments and medical devices.
Co-exhibitors in Washington State’s booth in the US Pavilion come from many communities around the state:
- BRPH Architecture and Engineering Services in Lynnwood, Snohomish County
- Composite Solutions, Sumner, Pierce County
- General Plastics Manufacturing from Tacoma
- HEATCON Composite Systems, Seattle
- Janicki Industries, Sedro-Woolley, Skagit County;
- Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) , Clallam County
- Port of Port Angeles, Clallam County
- Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County, between the Seattle and the Canadian border, where local companies make core components for commercial and military aircraft, America’s Cup racing yachts, naval research vessels, NASA exploration vehicles and the James Webb space telescope, among others.
The CRTC and Janicki Industries will be featured in the JEC Composites Magazine 2017 “Innovation Report.”
Also represented in the Choose Washington show catalog are:
- Carbitex, flexible carbon fiber leader based in the eastern Washington city of Kennewick
- Fiberglass Supply, specialists in materials and training for the composites industry from Burlington, Skagit County
- Globe Machine, high-capacity automated manufacturing experts, Tacoma
- Harper Engineering, specializing in design, engineering and manufacturing for aircraft interiors in Renton, south King County
- Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA), based in Redmond, Wash.
“Washington State is growing and attracting innovative companies because it is one of very few places in the world where the complete composites supply chain is represented,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “Our incredibly vibrant composites industry ecosystem is strengthening communities all across this beautiful state. It’s providing good jobs and economic activity everywhere from coastal timber towns to the eastern side of the Cascade mountain range, and from the Columbia River to the Canadian border.”
Anchored by the Boeing Company’s world-leading 787 and 777x aircraft programs and SGL Automotive Carbon Fiber’s factory where a fifth of the world’s raw carbon fiber is produced, a broad swath of businesses is growing Washington’s advanced materials and manufacturing sector. Here they find favorable incentives, world-renowned research and development centers, a highly skilled workforce and some of the lowest-cost hydroelectric power in the world, among other sought-after business and quality of life advantages.
Carbon fiber composite recycling creates new business and jobs
“Advanced composites are a significant and growing component of Skagit County’s economy,” said John Sternlicht, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of Skagit County. “At JEC, we look forward to promoting our composites manufacturers and educational programs—including Skagit Valley College’s exciting composite recycling technician project (CRTEP) project —and connecting with potential international partners. Participating in the Washington State delegation enables us to tell our story at a global level, and to support efforts to draw leading-edge technology and industry to our region.”
CRTEP is a National Science Foundation-funded grant that Skagit Valley College is leading to develop a composites recycling curriculum with partners, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Peninsula College and the National Resource Center for materials education.
The Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC) at the Port of Port Angeles has an established center for collaborative research, development, training and production for repurposing aerospace carbon-fiber scrap into commercially viable products, the first of which is a super-lightweight pickle ball paddle introduced late last year. The new facility is helped by $4 million in research, infrastructure and manufacturing grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Washington State Clean Energy Fund, and local funding from Clallam County.
Two of this year’s participating companies received financial support through Commerce export assistance vouchers, funded by the U.S. International Trade Administration and the Small Business Administration. Commerce provides other marketing assistance to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the state through its Washington State international trade services team and representatives in Europe.
Learn more about Washington’s delegation to JEC World 2017 (Hall 6, R39A and R45) and the state’s composites sector at http://choosewashingtonstate.com/jec/. Follow them at the show on social media at @WAStateCommerce #JECWorld2017.
Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, 206-256-6106