An innovative and differentiated tooling design and processing technology called PtFS (Production to Functional Specification), from UK-based Surface Generation, has been chosen by Victrex as it seeks to bring enhanced manufacturing effectiveness to its parts-based ‘mega-programmes’ and to OEM, tier 1s and the moulding community.
Surface Generation’s unique technology uses patented hardware and proprietary software, to actively manage multiple part areas during processing and drive reductions in the energy consumption, injection processing pressures and cycle times required to make even the most complex material and part combinations.
This investment in innovation will support Victrex increasing commercialisation of its parts-based mega-programmes. Surface Generation’s technology could, in the future, help moulders and others in the industry. Victrex’s reason to invest reflects that it is gaining technology which could enable customers access to produce more complex parts that may have limitations from traditional tooling designs used in injection or compression moulding due to heating and cooling profiles of existing techniques in the tools.
"This investment with Surface Generation provides Victrex with an opportunity to finesse unique and potentially breakthrough manufacturing techniques," said Jakob Sigurdsson, CEO at Victrex. "We believe that the advantages of PtFS processing, where crucial controls can be applied to temperature levels in real time in the tool, could be a major advancement for our parts programmes, such as medical or automotive gears and potentially in aerospace composite solutions. At Victrex, we are very excited about the wide range of potential benefits that could result from PtFS."
Victrex to complement wider technology offering
The agreement with Surface Generation is directly in line with Victrex's strategy of continued investment in its mega-programmes, parts portfolio offering new and innovative disruptive technologies that not only extend the company's capabilities as a material solutions provider, but also complement Victrex’s wider technology offering to its customers. Victrex has invested a small equity stake in Surface Generation, alongside the ability to utilise the technology.
"At Surface Generation we are focused on using PtFS based processing techniques to transform manufacturing with advanced high-performance materials, resulting in improved parts with less waste," said Ben Halford, CEO at Surface Generation. "We look forward to working with Victrex, a global leader in PAEK polymers, with decades of acquired expertise and market access. High-performance polymers are revolutionising design in a number of application areas, across multiple industries, offering the opportunity to replace metals and consolidate optimised parts."
About Surface Generation
Headquartered in the UK, Surface Generation was established in 2002 to develop and commercialise its unique Production to Functional Specification (PtFS) injection moulding tooling design and technology. The company's clients use PtFS to optimise their use of advanced composite materials, such as carbon fibre based thermoplastic UD tapes in the manufacture of products that include aircraft wings, consumer devices and automotive components much more efficiently than is possible with traditional tooling design and manufacturing techniques. PtFS enables a paradigm shift in cost, quality and delivery that enables fast and more energy-efficient solutions for the world’s manufacturing OEMs and material suppliers, who benefit from up to 95% lower cycle times achieved using up to 95% less energy compared to conventional injection moulding tooling design and existing moulding techniques . For further information, visit www.surface-generation.com.