Delegation to promote billion dollar advanced materials sector at JEC World 2016
Commerce hosts Washington State Pavilion, B2B meetings in Paris at largest annual international gathering of composites professionals
The Washington State Department of Commerce leaves for JEC World today to showcase the state’s dynamic composites sector, which now includes over 100 advanced manufacturing companies and 230 materials scientists. Washington researchers and businesses make up a “who’s who” of innovation in these new age materials that are transforming everything from aircraft and automobiles to high-end recreational equipment, musical instruments and medical devices.
Co-exhibitors in Washington State’s booth in the U.S. Pavilion at this all-important worldwide industry show come from many communities around the state: General Plastics Manufacturing from Tacoma; HEATCON Composite Systems, Seattle; Columbia River Economic Development Council based in Vancouver, Clark County; Gemini Composites, Seattle; Peninsula College, the Port of Port Angeles, and the Composite Recycling Technology Center in Clallam County on the Olympic Peninsula.
Also represented in the Commerce catalog are Fiberglass Supply from Burlington, Skagit County; Globe Machine Manufacturing, Tacoma; Harper Engineering from Renton in south King County; Innovative Composite Engineering (ICE) from White Salmon, WA on the Columbia River, and the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA), based in Redmond, WA.
“Washington State is one of few places in the nation, if not the world, where the entire composites supply chain is represented,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “From our research labs to factory floors and breaking new ground in composite recycling technology, this industry is creating good jobs and economic activity in communities large and small, urban and rural, throughout the state.”
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 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.
“With 75-year-old roots in Washington State, General Plastics is proud to be representing the remarkable innovation and talents found in our great state – a global leader in the advanced composite materials industry,” said Bruce Lind, president of General Plastics, a returning co-exhibitor with Commerce.
The Port of Port Angeles, Wash., is also returning, along with partners Peninsula College and the Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC). An interim prototyping and R&D facility recently opened and construction is well underway on a new facility for the CRTC and Peninsula College’s Composite Manufacturing program, both located at the Port’s Composite Manufacturing Campus. The new facility is helped by $4 million in infrastructure grants from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Washington State Clean Energy Fund from Commerce, and local community support from Clallam County.
The center will be a collaborative for research, development, training and production for innovative repurposing of carbon-fiber scrap into commercially viable products. Washington state produces 1.4 million pounds of carbon fiber scrap each year, but aerospace manufacturers cannot use recycled materials in structural aerospace configurations. However, it can be used in products ranging from solar panels frames to ski poles, computer cases to snowboards.
Jennifer States, Composite Recycling Technology Center vice president for external affairs, is presenting at the American Composite Manufacturing Association’s Global Recycling Workshop on Monday in Paris, joined by interim CEO Bob Larsen and VP of Innovation Geoff Wood.
Three of this year’s participants received financial support through Commerce export assistance vouchers, funded by the U.S. International Trade Administration and the Small Business Administration, to help offset expenses of attending the show. 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.
Read about all the members of Washington’s delegation to JEC World 2016 on www.choosewashington.com and follow them next week on social media at @WAStateCommerce