The steady growth of the composite market is grounded in the innovatory force of its players and customers. In a decade, the sector has managed to structure itself around regional, national and international clusters, strategic alliances and research centers. The innovation processes at work in the composite market will constitute the main topic at JEC Europe 2012 conferences and trade show. According to JEC Group President and CEO Frédérique Mutel, “The worth of the global composite market went from 38 billion euros in 2000 to 72 billion euros in 2011. We are expecting growth worldwide.
At an average 6%‐per‐year increase, our market will be worth 91 billion euros by 2015. Thanks to a large number of remarkable cooperative associations, the composite industry has been able to innovate and increase its capacities in markets where composites are already well established, like marine or construction. For other sectors, specialized clusters have accelerated the penetration of composites, for example with the use of composites in aircraft structures rising from 35% to 50%. In the automotive sector, transnational value chains are leading to profound changes in areas like structural parts or under‐the‐hood parts, such as carbon body frames, or nanotubes in the energy storage systems of electric cars. The list is long.”
Automation is a broad field that includes things like equipment, software, and the integration of manufacturing steps. The most significant advances over the past decade have occurred mainly in North America and – especially – Europe, which has the highest automation rate: 83% compared to 70% in Asia, to take one example. JEC provides a lot of scope for these processes. All the global manufacturers of equipment, robots and carbonfibre‐placement heads come to the JEC trade show, and are one of the chief attractions for aerospace and automotive professionals.
“Users are being won over more and more by composite characteristics that match current needs,” says Frédérique Mutel. “These characteristics are low weight, strength, thermal insulation, corrosion resistance, acoustic insulation, fire protection, design flexibility, textural possibilities, surface quality, and recyclability. France plays a leading role in thermoplastic composites and plant‐fibre‐reinforced parts. For example, Normandy is the world’s leading producer of long high‐end flax fibres. Furthermore Europe is becoming a leader on environmental matters. The steady flow of new regulations obliges us to review our ways of doing things, and it creates a climate that fosters innovation.”
JEC Europe attracts some 1,150 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors. Professionals from all over the world flock to the three‐day event to see the launching of new products, exhibits of spectacular parts, and demonstrations of the most recent technologies. JEC Europe 2012 will boast 49,500 m² in surface area – an average four times larger than any other composite trade show in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
A unique event that brings together all segments:
A global event: