The Rise in Composite Material Use

Composite materials are increasing in popularity in both the automotive and aerospace industries. The rise in popularity of composites is due in part to companies advancing the design flexibility and decreasing the cost of them. These two factors could potentially open the door to new opportunities and begin the growth of a broader market for composite parts.

 

There are constraints to using composites though. They still have an increased cost over metals, and designing the perfect composite for specific applications can be elusive. As for the automotive side of composites, many leaders in the industry have come together to find solutions. They are focusing on decreasing cost of manufacturing composites while increasing flexibility of the designs. Although there is a high cycle time in production which increases costs, new approaches are being looked at to lower these costs.

 

When it comes to aircraft, it is more expensive to maintain components and structures that are made out of metal because they tend to show signs of long-term fatigue. Because of this, a large part of the cost to maintaining the equipment is from maintenance, operation, and repair (MRO), not the initial purchase price. However, composite structures maintain their strength, don’t decompose, and retain their original characteristics over a greater time frame.

 

In addition to composite equipment lasting longer, GE has designed carbon fiber composites to use in jet engine fan blades which result in a 5% decrease in fuel consumption when compared to similar engines. The blades will first be used with Boeing’s 777X aircraft.

 

Like the metal components before them, composite materials in the automotive and aerospace industries will still need repairs. When the need arises, Wichitech has the right products to get equipment back up and running. We offer safe, reliable, and value packed hot bond composite repair systems for all automotive and aerospace repairs.  Contact us for more information on the products we offer for composite repairs.

Making Moves at WichiTech

This past spring and summer has seen a lot of changes here at WichiTech. First, we welcomed new leadership as long-time employees Dave Junkin and Ned Norris took ownership of the company. This is the first time since our founding that we have changed hands, and are pleased to pass the baton to these industry leaders who have invested so much of their time in this company during their careers.

In line with this new beginning, WichiTech’s headquarters have been relocated from Baltimore City into Baltimore County, about 15 miles away. The move better allows us to update and expand our current equipment and capabilities.

While all of our equipment was user friendly from the start, we realized that there was an opportunity to modernize systems that hadn’t been updated in some time. Several new hot bonder configurations are being tested and developed now. We are also continuing to support and enhance our well-known product lines such as HB1, HB2, and RD3.

In addition, we are working to grow our line of accessory products such as blankets, a thermocouple welder, power boosters, vacuum pumps, and several advanced projects including IoT connectivity. We’re working with talented partners around the world to bring the best options to our new facility.

Overall, our goal is to continue WichiTech’s tradition of providing high quality products and unmatched customer service. Already, we’re seeing new opportunities and increased business thanks to this expansion and growth.

If you’d like to visit us at our new location, you’ll find us at the following address:

WichiTech Industries, Inc.

9633 Liberty Road

Suite Q

Randallstown, MD 21133

 

You can also reach us by phone at 410-922-1000 or visit us online to browse our product range.

Learn About the Latest Composite Repair Systems at CAMX 2017

As a designer and manufacturer of hot bond composite repair systems, WichiTech is excited to take part in the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX), now taking place December 12-14 , 2017 in Orlando, Florida. We’ll be exhibiting at Booth P81.

 

This year, CAMX 2017 is introducing the first ever Innovation Park, right in the middle of exhibition hall. This area is being dedicated to learning, networking, and inspiration for all attendees. There will be four zones to choose from which offer a variety of things like meeting like-minded industry professionals, solving any challenges your company might be having, and observing presentations in a completely different way.

 

CAMX is the largest show of its kind, with over 550 exhibitors from around the globe. More than 8,000 attendees can expect to learn about: cutting edge technology, new industrial and commercial applications, key industry trends, view live demonstrations, and take part in networking opportunities. 250 educational sessions addressing over 100 different topics will also be offered. CAMX is the perfect event for anyone wanting to grow their business opportunities and develop industry skills, all while making important connections.

 

Along with all of the exhibitions and educational sessions, there are numerous ACMA meetings going on and an ACMA membership awards ceremony and reception. There are many other awards, ceremonies, and events taking place as well, such as the SAMPE University Research Symposium. This competitive program allows students to present the results of their research at CAMX every year. Winners in the Ph.D. division get to go on and present their papers at CAMX in Europe and Japan.

 

Will you be looking for a composite repair system at CAMX? Give WichiTech a call at 1-800-776-4277 so we can discuss your needs.

WichiTech Products Are Used By Many Industries!

A truly practical product can be used across a variety of fields with great results. From marine applications, to automotive production and repair, to wind energy industries, Wichitech testing and repair products are regularly used, with resounding success across many industries.

Weld-X Spot Welder

Thermocouple materials such as platinum and tungsten need a welder with specific tolerances, and may often need to be attached to alloys such as aluminum and titanium. The wind energy industry is one field that needs a product like the Weld-X Spot Welder that can work with the specific lightweight materials the industry uses. In the wind energy industry, weight equals resistance, which can mean a loss of efficiency if the correct materials are not used.

Composite Repair Systems

Lighter, stronger, and more corrosion-resistant than the standards k1585317-our-cust-pagesuch as steel and aluminum, composite materials that combine a high-performance fiber in a matrix material are becoming exceedingly popular in automotive manufacturing, as well as marine uses such as on off-shore oil rigs, submarines and submersibles. Many of the naval vessels of the future will utilize a great deal of composite materials, creating a lighter, faster, yet more durable and damage-resistant vessel. Repairing these systems requires advanced hot bonding systems, and our HB-1 and HB-2 Composite Repair Systems will do the job.

RD3 Electronic Digital Tap Hammer

Of course, before you can make repairs, you need to be able to find where the damage is. Whether you’re suspended out on twind-turbine- our-cust- pagehe blade of a turbine on a wind farm, working in the busy engine room of a boat, or in a crammed automotive shop, you need a portable testing unit. Our tap hammer is lightweight and reliable, meaning that you can tote it to the furthest reaches of the wind farm or deep into the bowels of dock infrastructures.

Composite materials are poised to be a major part of industries and infrastructure well into the future. While they certainly have distinct advantages over standard materials, they are not infallible, and will need testing and repairs over time. At Wichitech, we are ready to help you with your composite repair needs, whether you work in the marine, automotive, or wind energy industries, or any other industries that are beginning to fall in love with the usefulness of composites. Talk to one of our staff today to see about our products and training!

National Safety Month 2016

Each year in June, the National Safety Council promotes National Safety Month.  The goal of this event is to highlight the leading causes of injuries and death at work, on the roads, or even in our homes and communities.  Many times these injuries and deaths can be avoided if the proper safety regulations or strategies are in place.

safety first road sign

While promoting National Safety Month, the NSC makes available resources and promotional materials to help people understand the importance of safety.  Areas covered by these materials include:

  • Compliance Training
  • Driver Safety
  • First Aid Training
  • Fleet and Specialty Vehicle Training
  • Workplace Safety

Even though June is National Safety Month, it is important year round to make sure safety is a priority.  In the workplace it is a good idea to routinely have meetings to go over safety policies and procedures, as well as holding regular safety training courses to ensure all employees are properly trained.

At WichiTech Industries, Inc. we understand the importance of safety, and offer products that are important to ensure safety.  Our hot bonder, portable composite repair system, is a great tool to repair metal, Kevlar, carbon, boron and fiberglass simply and safely.  We also offer a thermocouple welder which can easily fuse all standard thermocouple materials, including platinum and tungsten.  By using these products to make regular repairs and perform maintenance, larger accidents that could be dangerous can be avoided.

For more information regarding our composite repair products, visit our website or contact us here for more information.  Also for the latest company news and information, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Growth of the U.S. Airline Industry

In the wake of the rebound from the global economic crisis, one of the many areas that have seen a regrowth is the global airlines industry. The U.S. airlines industry is leading this regrowth, showing the biggest increases among airline industries around the world. This has, in turn, created greater demand, and has resulted in greater profits as well for U.S. airline companies as more flights are leaving runways on a regular basis.

Why Has the Rebound Been So Great?

Three major factors have led to the rebound, and will be counted on for further growth in the sector.

  • More People Travelling: The key factor to growth is clearly more passengers taking to the air, and there has certainly been an ongoing rise in that area. From increasing business travel, to more families willing and able to use airlines for vacationing, there has been a steady rise. This spring, for example, it is expected that the number of passengers will be up roughly 2.8% over last year. This is seen as small but sustainable growth.
  • Lower Fuel Prices: From 2014 to 2015, the average cost for one gallon of jet fuel dropped by nearly one dollar. Various airlines have used this to their advantages, in differing ways. Some, like the growing low-cost airline Spirit, have used it to pass savings on to the passengers and get more seats sold. Others have reinvested the savings into better equipment, improved training, share buybacks, and other business areas.
  • Better Business Strategy: The industry has evolved greatly over the years, particularly with the development of low cost airlines and the growth and development of new routes that has not been used before. Airlines have also invested in larger yet more fuel-efficient aircrafts, while developing how they manage cargo and passengers, in order to further streamline operations and either save money, or increase earnings.

One side effect of this industry growth is that planes are seeing more operational cycles, and will require testing more often – testing that will require tools such as our Tap Hammer testing device, to detect voids, degradation, and delamination in composite structures. With so many people depending on proper testing and readings for their travel safety, we take pride in knowing that we are continually developing and producing the best product to ensure the planes are still in full flying condition. At WichiTech we look forward to providing the equipment for composite repair to a growing airlines industry.

Aircraft Maintenance Checks

Even the largest aircraft in the skies operates within a delicate balance – when you are up in the air, even minor part failures can lead to major disasters, and unlike in other industries, a part failure in an aircraft generally leads to fatalities and major loss of property. This is why all commercial and civil aircraft that is large, or turbine powered, must follow a strict, continuous inspection program. This is a program that is approved by airworthiness authorities, be it the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States, the European Aviation Safety Agency in Europe, Transport Canada, or any other authorities in countries where a plane operates. These detailed inspections, often referred to as “maintenance checks” or “checks,” assure that planes continue to operate as expected.

There are four different checks set forth by the FAA:

  • A Check – The most common check, it must be performed roughly every 500 flight hours. This is a fairly routine check that can often be completed during an overnight layover at an airport gate, and can even be delayed if certain conditions are met.
  • B Check – Slightly more intensive than the A Check, the B Check is still able to be performed fairly quickly, to minimize downtime. It needs to be performed every 6 to 8 months, and is usually completed within 1-3 days at an airport hangar. Sometimes B checks may be incorporated into successive A checks.
  • C Check – Much more comprehensive than the previous checks, this must be done every 20 months to two years. It requires a large majority of the aircraft’s components to be inspected individually, and can take up to two weeks to complete.
  • D Check – The most thorough of them all, the D Check is a demanding check that is sometimes referred to as a “heavy maintenance visit.” It occurs every 5 to 6 years, and involves such thorough measures that it can be compared to taking the plane apart, checking everything down to the individual nut, fastener, wire, hinge, or component, and repairing, maintain, or replacing any parts that require it. This is an expensive undertaking, and many planes only have this done once or twice in their lifetime. This check can take up to 2 months to complete.

Here at WichiTech, we offer a number of instruments aimed at making your next aircraft maintenance check faster, more accurate, and all-around more beneficial to you and your company. This includes testers like the RD3 Electronic Digital Tap Hammer, a hand-held inspection instrument that can help detect impact damage, matrix degradation, delamination, and disbanding in composite and metallic aircraft structures. With available training kits and printers, this can help to cut time off of your checks without cutting corners, and keep your process moving smoothly to get back in the air.

Superior & Innovative Accessories by WichiTech Industries to Complement All Your Repair System Needs

Be it pipes or aircraft parts, structures constructed with the best of material and engineered sensibility are not immune to wear and tear. There might be corrosion. There might be breaches and dents. And there might be unseemly scratches that gradually affect strength and integrity of the unit. Under such circumstances corrective measures are essential to ensure the safety where the structure is installed and its optimal contribution to the process it serves.

WichiTech Industries Inc. is a market leader in the domain of portable composite repair systems. Crafted keeping in mind the rigorous needs of the job, the systems are a fine balance of cutting edge technology, economy and robustness. Many industries depend on WichiTech kits and accessories to conduct emergency repair exercises that stall the need for costly and inconvenient replacements.

Some WichiTech Industries Inc. Repair Accessories:

Composite repair kits are comprehensive unto themselves. But there are a couple of accessories that help take their effectiveness up a notch and are highly recommended by domain experts who can re-create ideal repair conditions without the laboratory set-up.

  1. Heating Blankets – WichiTech heating blankets come in a number of varieties. There are standards sheets as well as custom formations for 3D objects of awkward shapes. These heating blankets are guaranteed to maintain a uniform temperature profile over a given area to assist curation of repair agents as needed.
  1. Portable Vacuum Pump Kits – WichiTech Vacuum pump kits are small yet powerful. They prove useful in sucking away air and particulate matter that might negatively impact the repair process by chemically reacting with the deposited agents and strengtheners.

WichiTech also stocks printers, student training kits and vacuum accessories to assist the restoration to operational condition of units made of carbon, boron and even Kevlar. Please get in touch with us at 800.776.4277 to learn more about our catalogue of products.

Weld-X Thermocouple Spot Welder

If you’re looking for an accurate, efficient and portable wire welding unit, look no further than the Weld-X Thermocouple Spot Welder.  Made for spot welding and welding repairs, the high arc temperatures generated by the Weld-X can easily fuse all standard thermocouple materials.  The Weld-X’s straightforward and uncomplicated setup allow for anyone to quickly be adept at using it.

The Weld-X has many advantages and features that make it an excellent choice for your spot welding and welding repair needs.  Installation of it does not require skilled operators or prepared surfaces, and its size and weight make it one of the most conveniently sized units available in the market.  It contains a rechargeable battery and integral charger which allows for numerous welds to be made without the need to connect to any outside power sources.  Operation can also be powered from AC line voltage as well.

All standard thermocouple materials including platinum and tungsten can be easily fused by the Weld-X.  The strongest welded surface connections are usually made by ferrous materials, but very suitable direct attachments can also be made to aluminum, titanium, copper, and other alloys.  Field, shop and lab use are some of the most relevant areas where the Weld-X is useful.  The size, portability and ease of use make it a great tool in these environments.

WichiTech Industries, Inc. designs and manufactures simple, safe, reliable and value packed composite repair systems.  We offer an assortment of products on our website for a variety of industries.  Be sure to connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn for all company news and information.

Aerospace Industry

The aerospace industry in America continues to grow and develop. As the economy has rebounded, the aerospace industry has been slingshot ahead of the manufacturing sector as a whole. A rebound in the aerospace industry means rebounds for other industries as well – aerospace manufacturing needs plenty of help from firms outside of the industry, from parts to service. This rebound can be seen in numbers such as government spending, where aerospace spending has increased 38 percent since the economic recession.

Unfortunately, the aerospace industry is not all golden. The workforce is having issues catching up to the jobs that are needed, with many areas seeing a severe lack of the necessary skills and degrees. For instance, in a report released earlier this year, a survey of 830 companies expressed a need for 100 industrial engineers, but with only 11 of them even available for higher in the area. There was also a gap between needed material engineers and available material engineers. However, there was an excess of mechanical and electrical engineers.

It’s not just the degree-track jobs that suffer shortages either. Machinists and assemblers are also lacking, two extremely important jobs that are essential to the finished product. It’s not for a lack of salary, either – the average aerospace worker makes over $22,000 per year more than the overall median.

So what can we do to address these issues in the aerospace industry? Much of its starts early, by demonstrating that a career in the aerospace industry can be an achievable target, and showing interested youth the path to reach such a career. This includes improving the science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum in middle and high schools, as well as urging interested students to move towards vocational schooling. Beyond that, it can also mean manufacturers may need to provide more incentive for properly qualified workers to move throughout the nation as needed.

At WichiTech, located in Baltimore, Maryland, we are part of the aerospace industry with many of our largest customers being major aerospace companies. Our repair system is integral in keeping planes in the air, and needs knowledgeable and trainable users to operate it. Getting more people interested in careers within the industry helps us, as well as the many other companies across Maryland that rely on the industry for support.