DEC 2018


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DECEMBER 2018 28 CompositesWorld PLANT TOUR operations, Brady recognized the opportunity that Composite Resources might aord him to pursue his passion for business. He saw great upside potential for the company. "I asked Jon to let me have a •nancial stake and run the company," Brady recalls. "He gave me the keys and let me have a go at it starting in • -€." Within a few months, Brady had identi•ed the aerospace sector as a potentially great source of growth. Clauson, an aero- space veteran, was tapped to join CR that year. He notes, "We're diving into aerospace and defense at a time when this whole space is very busy and there are lots of opportunities." CR's eorts in aerospace and defense have quickly begun to pay dividends. Clauson reports that the company added -• posi- tions in the past six months. ˆe increased work load has also warranted major equipment purchases this year, including a new ‰-axis machining center and two presses. Key to this early success is the fact that CR is vertically inte- grated. "From those initial designing/scheming sessions on into production — cutting, kitting, moldmaking, inspection, coatings, machining — it's all here," Brady emphasizes. Verticality As our tour begins, behind the reception area and past o'ces for the purchasing department, we enter a small hallway. Clear glass panes make up the top half of the hallway's walls, providing a view into CR's engineering workspace on one side and quality/testing area on the other. Representing one end of CR's vertical capabilities, a team of six engineers brings the design of composite components to fruition. ˆeir workspace consists of an open "oor plan with variable-height desks, arranged in pods to facilitate collaboration. A dedicated conference room for the engineers is adjacent to the workspace, also enclosed with glass walls for a light, open environment. Demands on the engineering team run the gamut. "On one end of the spectrum," Brady illustrates, "a more established aero- space client like Rockwell often has a fairly de•ned speci•cation — a drawing, maybe the materials and procedures they want us to use. On the other end of the spectrum, a client less familiar with composites, or someone with a metal component they want to convert to composite, may simply ask us to make that happen. We can support that whole range." ˆe rest of the plant tour exhibits CR's capacity for vertical servicing, from design to tooling, to post-cure machining and painting as well as coating. Being vertically integrated helps CR control its scheduling and quality, as well as its pro•t margins, Clauson points out. But perhaps more signi•- cantly, it is an attractive feature to the company's customers. "A prospective customer walks in, and they want to be able to write one purchase order," he points out. "And they want their questions answered; they don't want to hear that you have to call another supplier." Double duty The main manufacturing floor at Composite Resources features several equipment pairs to ensure — as the company's racing inspired philosophy might suggest — that they are ready for the start flag to commence any task or project. Source | CW Photo | Karen Mason

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