Kautex expands its customer service: Prototype production for composite pressure vessels
Kautex Maschinenbau is setting itself new challenges in the production of pressure vessels made of composite materials.
Pressure vessels made of type 4 composites have been attracting more and more attention over recent years because of growing environmental and safety requirements. They are non-corrosive and also much lighter, thanks to their blow molded inner liner.
Expansion of Kautex Technical Center
Kautex Maschinenbau has been meeting increased demand for composite pressure vessels by expanding its range of customer services. Now the Kautex Technical Center offers the production of prototypes for pressure vessels. Materials manufacturers and existing and new customers can now test their materials with the assistance of our expert team and produce prototypes of composite pressure vessels. The Technical Center provides them with blow molding machines with material processing, a welding machine, a fiber-wrapping machine, a drying oven and a wide range of testing equipment.
3 questions to... Markus Holbach, Head of the Kautex Technical Center
Mr. Holbach, why has Kautex Maschinenbau invested so much in prototype production?
Every day, customers come to us with new ideas and proposals. Applications range from CNG gas tanks to pressure tanks for hydrogen vehicles and gas bottles for household use. Unfortunately it is often very difficult to simulate these applications. It is an important step for us to be able to map out the potential, viability and execution of ideas using prototypes. It will make us more innovative and improve still further the service that Kautex offers its customers.
What is the role of materials suppliers in this?
Raw materials suppliers now have an opportunity to test their new materials, such as thermoplastics or resins, directly on the pressure vessel. In the automotive sector, characteristics such as permeation and low-temperature impact strength are critical. But exact values can only be measured on a finished vessel.
What is Kautex Maschinenbau hoping to gain from this investment?
If they are to remain competitive, it is essential for manufacturers to work constantly on product development. But at the same time they are not keen to tie up their own manufacturing processes with prototype production. Our service will make it easier for customers to make future investments in composite pressure vessels. We also see ourselves as a partner for raw materials manufacturers who would like to test their new materials and check their suitability for various applications. And of course we are hoping that the development of new technologies will improve yet further our customer service thanks to shorter lead times.