Victrex invests in technology that actively manages multiple part areas during plastics processing

Mold tool developed by Surface Generation
A PtFS mold tool developed by Surface Generation.

A differentiated tooling design and processing technology developed by Surface Generation (Lyndon, UK) has been selected by Victrex (Thornton Cleveleys, UK), a global leader in PEEK- and PAEK-based polymer solutions, as a means to bring enhanced manufacturing effectiveness to its parts-based “mega-programs” and to Tier 1 suppliers and the molding community.

Called Production to Functional Specification (PtFS), Surface Generation’s technology uses patented hardware and proprietary software to actively manage multiple part areas during processing. PtFS also drives reductions in energy consumption, injection processing pressures and cycle times.

This investment in innovation will support Victrex’s increasing commercialization of its parts-based mega-programs, the company said in a press release. The technology could enable Victrex’s customers to produce more complex parts that otherwise may be limited by traditional tooling designs used in injection or compression molding because of heating and cooling profiles, said Victrex’s announcement.

“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 advantage 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 programs, 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.”

The agreement with Surface Generation is directly in line with Victrex’s strategy of continued investment in its mega-program parts portfolio, offering disruptive technologies that extend the company’s capabilities as a material solutions provider while complementing its wider technology offering to customers, said Victrex.

Victrex has invested a small equity stake in Surface Generation, alongside the ability to utilize the technology.

Surface Generation was established in 2002 to develop and commercialize the PtFS injection molding tooling design and technology. The company’s clients use PtFS to optimize their use of advanced composite materials, such as carbon fiber–based thermoplastic UD tapes, in the manufacture of products such as aircraft wings, consumer devices and automotive components more efficiently than is possible with traditional tooling design and manufacturing techniques.

“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. High-performance polymers are revolutionizing design in a number of application areas, across multiple industries, offering the opportunity to replace metals and consolidate optimized parts.”

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