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INTERVIEW - Anatole Gilliot, CEO, Suprem

News International-French

16 Nov 2020

Suprem, a company from Switzerland, has recently developped new applications for thermoplastic composite materials. On this occasion, JEC Composites Magazine approached its CEO, Anatole Gilliot, to inquire about the future of thermoplastic in the composite market, as well as the current context and how the composites industry can, and must, stay resilient.

Anatole Gilliot, CEO, Suprem
JEC Composites Magazine: Could you tell us about which current market and technology trends are driving Suprem’s business strategy?
Anatole Gilliot: Suprem has been developing and manufacturing thermoplastic composite materials for 30 years now. Finally, in the last 5-10 years, the increasing number of thermoplastic composite material suppliers and the more reliable and efficient part manufacturing technologies have helped to democratize this technology. This trend is reinforced by the intrinsic advantages of thermoplastic vs. thermoset, which leads to the creation of new applications or the change from thermoset to thermoplastic matrices. Our strategy is to support the growth of this technology thanks to innovative and custom materials for automated manufacturing processes such as Tape winding, Tape laying and nowadays 3D-printing.

JEC Composites Magazine: The current sanitary context has been very challenging for companies in many major sectors. Has it reshaped your strategy for the future? Which specific markets does Suprem plan to focus on?     
Anatole Gilliot: I would say we have been pretty lucky so far since we are involved in different markets and do not rely on one specific market. It helps us in this tough time. I do not expect a change in this strategy. The situation in the largest and most growing markets for thermoplastic composites like aerospace, automotive and oil & gas is extremely challenging. I really wish to all of us that a good balance between medical, social and economic risks will be found by our governments so that these markets recover shortly. It is very important that this technology and the knowledge gained over the last years remains so that further applications can be developed.

Suprem™ Tape and/or Profile are usually used in a one step consolidation process, so-called in-situ consolidation or nowadays additive manufacturing, thanks to its continuous excellent impregnation quality and dimension tolerances.

Suprem™ Tape and/or Profile are usually used in a one step consolidation process,
so-called in-situ consolidation or nowadays additive manufacturing.

JEC Composites Magazine: More specifically, concerning the Sports & Health markets, what kind of solutions and products does Suprem offer, especially with thermoplastics?    
Anatole Gilliot: We offer three product families, all with continuous unidirectional fibres: Tape (prepreg), Profile and Rod. We have the freedom to choose the fibre (carbon, glass…) and the thermoplastic (PEEK, PA…). Therefore, depending on the customer application and its properties requirement such mechanical or physical properties, biocompatibility or cosmetic, we can tune the product and select the appropriate ingredients. Our operations are managed flexibly so that we can rapidly develop prototypes and then move towards large scale production when time comes.


Suprem™ Rods offer a high fibre volume content (45-65%) with customised length & cross-section

JEC Composites Magazine: Since this is the launch of the JEC Summit Sports & Health event, a first for JEC Group, what are your main goals in attending the event? What particular trends do you expect to emerge from the discussion in these Sports & Health Industry sessions?     
Anatole Gilliot: I think JEC has picked-up the right markets that are or should be doing well in the current sanitary and economic circumstances. Our main goal is to raise awareness that our products are already used for such applications and that we can support new projects thanks to our agility and capacity to rapidly develop and manufacture tailored products for small or large quantity.
I do not know if trends will emerge, but it will be an interesting discussion between two markets with very much different requirements in terms of life-cycle-time and quality system.

JEC Composites Magazine: The Sports and Health fields present a wide variety of possible applications where composite materials can be key components, and customization is a big part of the benefits composites can bring. How do you imagine their future use in new and upcoming applications?
Anatole Gilliot: Certainly, composites can offer customization and enable to manufacture specific components. Such processes are however so far labor intensive, which limits a broader use of composites. Additive manufacturing could potentially fill this gap thanks to the digitalization of human body skeleton followed by the printing of single personalized component.

Want to discover more about Composites in Sports?

JEC Sports & Health online Summit next December 8-10, 2020






The JEC Sports & Health online Summit, next December 8-10, is a unique opportunity to discover how composite materials and inherent innovative technologies provide answers to current challenges, improve user experience and help it become risk-free, as well as facilitate rehabilitation and pursuing perfomance in high-level sports !  Anatole Gilliot will also present us different applications where thermoplastics are a key components. Don't miss it !