AUG 2018


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NEWS 23 "We have the ability to make much larger vessels with much thicker walls, which would traditionally be painfully slow, but we've become experts in production of carbon fiber composite pressure vessels at scale. Our winders are some of the fastest in the world, and our production lines are focused on flexibility for quick changeover to make different products as needed. We can run at a high rate, even with larger cylinders, enabling us to scale while maintaining product performance which keeps production costs low." is performance is certified through testing. "We do almost all of the testing in-house," says Dawes. is includes proof, burst, leak, permeation and hydrostatic cycle tests. ese are required by transportation regulations, notes Silio, because these cylinders are part of commercial transportation systems. e specifications and standards for pressure vessels are different for H 2 and CNG, and also vary by geographical region worldwide. Silio says 250 bar is the standard pressure for CNG cylinders used in North America but 200 bar is the norm for the rest of the world. For H 2 cylinders, 350- or 700-bar are typical pressure standards for vehicles, but this increases to 950 bar for vessels used in stationary refueling stations. "We have the ability to test per all of these standards, as well as third-party witness requirements and destructive tests," says Dawes. However, certain tests for cylinder performance are done off site, specifically when tanks are subjected to fire and penetration tests (the latter involving gunfire). "Once validation is complete, we ship the cylinders all over the world, including to our vehicle systems production facilities in North Carolina, California and Norway, and vehicle OEMs and other customers," says Dawes. Fuel systems production CW's tour of the North Carolina fuel systems production facility is led by Shawn Adelsberger, Agility Fuel Solutions director of plant operations (a position now held by Bryan Mewhort). From the lobby, he enters a large, open space with cubicles in the center, offices on the perimeter and a conference room near the entrance. "We broke ground in December 2014 and started production in December 2015," he notes. is site is strategically located in the Southeast near key customers, including Daimler and Volvo. Other considerations for choosing this location included commu- nity and workforce availability and development programs. "We partnered with Rowan County Community College and the NC Manufacturing Institute to develop an 8-week class focused on manufacturing," says Adelsberger. Graduates are Certified Produc- tion Technicians (CPTs). "We have over 80 graduates now, and 113 employees per shift." e site typically runs two shifts. Within the 18,580m 2 facility, almost 17,000m 2 is production space, with room to grow, says Adelsberger, walking through a large employee break area and a door into the open production floor. FIG. 2 High- performance, industrial-scale CFRP cylinders Agility Fuel Solutions' Type IV cylinders are produced by filament winding carbon fiber impregnated inline with epoxy resin (bottom photo) over a plastic liner using automated production lines (top photo) that enable high precision at industrial scale (photo at left) in a wide range of cylinder lengths and diameters. Source | Agility Fuel Solutions Agility Fuel Solutions, Salisbury, NC

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