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INTERVIEW - Liu Biao, President, China Composites Group Corporation

News International-French

31 Jul 2020

While the Covid is still active in certain part of the world, other regions are restarting with all the more vigor as the crisis has marked the spirits. JEC Composites Magazine asked our partner Mr. Liu Biao, President, CCGC who is preparing the new edition of China Composites Expo, which will be held from September 2 to 4 in Shanghai.

Liu Biao, CEO, China Composites Group Corporation
JEC Composites Magazine: First of all, can you confirm that the show will take place in early September?
Liu Biao:
2020 is destined to be an extraordinary year in human history. The COVID-19 global pandemic is the most extensive to afflict humanity in a century. As a serious crisis for the entire world, it poses a grave threat to human life and health.

Since January, the Chinese government has taken decisive actions and as a result, the COVID-19 epidemic and some sporadic re-emergence in China have been brought under control effectively and quickly. At present, manufacturing companies have comprehensively resumed work and production, with economic and social development returning to normality. 

CCE 2020 has been paying close attention to the changes of the epidemic situation at home and abroad. In accordance with government guidelines for large-scale exhibitions, we have actively prepared, and tried our best to address the demands of exhibitors and visitors, striving to create a safe and orderly exhibition environment for them. At present, CCE 2020’s work is promoted in an orderly manner. The show will be held on 2-4 September in Shanghai, as planned, unless any recurrence of the epidemic.

JEC Composites Magazine: Can you tell us about the measures taken to meet health requirements?
Liu Biao:
That’s a very good question. For us, the safety and health of the exhibitors and visitors is always the most important issue during the Expo. To ensure this, CCE 2020 will cooperate with Shanghai World Expo Exhibition & Convention Center (SWEECC) in order to take effective measures, including real-name online registrations, identity verifications, health code checks, on-site body-temperature measurements, pre-registered and staggered visit plans, stringent personal protection (wearing face masks), and other strict health management and disinfection measures.

JEC Composites Magazine: What can we expect from CCE 2020?
Liu Biao:
The main features of this year's show include:

  • CCE-JEC Innovation Award Programme

The CCE-JEC Innovation Award Programme has been the main highlight of CCE for 15 years, while the New Products Showcase Zone is generally one of the best and most attractive areas to visitors. Over the past 15 years, 1000+ innovative products joined the programme, while 160+ of them were rewarded. The CCE-JEC Innovation Award Programme has earned a solid reputation and had an enormous influence on China’s composite industry, and even on the global market.

We hope that this year’s programme will bring innovative momentum into China's composite industry after the epidemic. Up to now, we have collected more than 50 innovations, listing just a few below:

- Fibre plastic composites (FPCs) from Sino Polymer Co., Ltd.: a new type of mass-produced high-performance composite materials with recycled textiles as the main raw material; 

- CR929 rear pressure bulkhead dome developed by Hiwing Materials Industrial Co., Ltd.: a dome manufactured using the AFP process with fibre placement equipment independently developed in China; 

The CR929 rear pressure bulkhead dome

- Continuous basalt fibre (CBF) reinforced thermoplastic filament for 3D printing developed by Sichuan Qianyi Composite Material Co., Ltd.: a PA12-based composite filament with outstanding creep properties and X-ray shielding characteristics; 

Continuous basalt fibre (CBF) reinforced thermoplastic filament

- 5-axis milling and additive manufacturing integrated machine (BGAM) developed by CoinRobotics: a machine that integrates both additive manufacturing and subtractive processing with a double gantry structure; 

The BGAM machine from CoinRobotics

- M65J grade high-strength and high-modulus carbon fibre developed by Ningbo Institute of Materials Technology & Engineering (NIMTE): a new technological breakthrough in China, with the fibre’s highest tensile modulus reaching 639 GPa.

  • Automotive Composites Innovation Platform 

The Automotive Composites Innovation Platform is a special programme held by CCE, the last three editions of which were an outstanding success. We are supported by tens of major car makers, Tier 1 suppliers, equipment manufacturers, raw materials suppliers, research institutes and composite enterprises at home and abroad.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is difficult for us to invite foreign experts to give speeches on the conference. Given that China's new-energy vehicles and lightweight technology are in a phase of rapid development, we finally decided to invite well-known domestic car makers and Tier 1 suppliers to present their most advanced technology and products to our exhibitors and visitors, and to showcase the highest level of composite auto parts in China.

  • High forum: recycling and reuse of fibre-reinforced composite materials

The organizing committee of CCE 2020 and the Fiber-reinforced Composite Recycling Branch of the China National Resources Recycling Association (CCRA) will jointly organize the second high forum on the recycling and reuse of fibre-reinforced composite materials to introduce the latest research and engineering progress of composite recycling and recovery in China. In recent years, the recycling and reuse of CFRP has become an important technical issue for the industrial development process. With the introduction of environmental protection policies by governments around the world, the composite industry has also created a boom in the development of sustainable solutions for composites recycling and reuse.

We will invite Nantong Fuyuan Carbon Fiber Recycling Co., Ltd., China's first domestic company boasting an advanced composite pyrolysis processing line with an annual capacity of 1,500 tons, to introduce their facility and pyrolysis treatment technology. Furthermore, considering the COVID-19 context, some speakers will provide a comprehensive and in-depth analysis of how the epidemic pushes this industry’s transformation and reform.

  • Live stream on the WECHAT platform

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many countries announced and implemented strict policies or bans to avoid international travel. China has also applied the strictest-ever border control measures to prevent inbound and outbound spreading of the virus. As a result, it’s a pity that most of our foreign exhibitors and visitors will not visit CCE 2020 personally this year. In order to help those who still wish to take a view of the booths and get useful information from key companies, CCE 2020 will offer the CCE Live Stream broadcast through the CCExpo WECHAT public platform. 

Via JEC’s media, we would like to inform all overseas buyers and visitors that if you are willing to communicate and interact with exhibitors through the CCE Live Stream, you can contact us and let us know your requirements. Of course, after the expo, you can also visit CCE 2020’s official website to watch the videos you are interested in. 

JEC Composites Magazine: How is the composite industry in China today? What are the market trends following this exceptional episode?
Liu Biao:
So far, the epidemic situation in China has been effectively controlled and the upstream and downstream enterprises in China's composite industry have actively responded to the impact of the epidemic. On one hand, they demonstrated extraordinary social responsibility and selfless dedication, actively participated in donations, and quickly transformed their production lines and expanded the associated capacity to answer the shortage of medical supplies for epidemic prevention. On the other hand, enterprises developed diversified sales channels, both online and offline, to find new opportunities. Since late February, many companies have overcome difficulties and orderly resumed work and production. At present, the Chinese composite industry is developing with increasing momentum, particularly in the aerospace, wind and carbon fibre manufacturing sectors.

  • Aerospace market. By the end of last year, all of the six C919 flight test prototypes have been put through their flight tests, allowing the programme to officially enter the next stage of intensive flight testing. So far, 815 orders from 28 customers from home and abroad have been placed for the C919. Furthermore, as the overall technical scheme of the CR929 long-range wide-body passenger aircraft has been basically determined, the design stage is on the right direction. It is worth mentioning that the CR929’s airframe uses 50% composites, which will make it one of the most advanced passenger airplanes in the world. Due to the positive influence of large domestic aircraft projects and the growing requirement for composite usage and localized production, I believe that the aerospace composites market in China will witness substantial growth in the near future.
  • Wind market. Although the epidemic had some impact on the Chinese wind industry in the first quarter of 2020, wind turbine manufacturers and upstream parts suppliers have now resumed normal production with their production capacity almost fully exploited. The wind industry continues to maintain good growth momentum. At the same time, the Chinese wind turbine manufacturers separately launched large-size offshore wind turbine types. As more and more offshore wind farms are constructed, it is predicted that the accumulated offshore wind capacity will meet a new milestone this year, which will also be recorded in the history of China's wind industry.

Furthermore, as the global CFRP market demand keeps growing with the years, the world-leading carbon fibre companies have successively announced their expansion, while the Chinese carbon fibre suppliers are growing quickly with improved product quality and enriched product categories. Under the new global circumstances, and with the rapid growth of the domestic carbon fibre market, the Chinese carbon fibre suppliers launched expansion plans for an additional capacity of about 79,000 tons in all. Zhongfu Shenying has broken ground on its new facility, and the construction work of the new factory is continuing on schedule as planned, expecting an overall added capacity of 20,000 tons carbon fibre and precursor. The first phase, with 10,000 tons capacity, will be composed of two periods. The first one, from 2019 to 2020, will see 6,000 tons capacity released and the second period, from 2021 to 2022, will have another 4,000 tons capacity completed. 

I’m really pleased to see this good development momentum, and I have more confidence in the future development of the industry. The future is worth expecting.

Zhongfu Shenying’s existing carbon fibre line

JEC Composites Magazine: Do you think CCE 2020 will be the trade show for recovery?
Liu Biao:
Yes, that’s what we are hoping for. CCE is the largest, most influential and professional composite exhibition in the Asia Pacific region. Since it was launched back in 1995, we have been deeply committed to the mission of promoting the prosperity and development of the composite industry. In this regard, I believe that CCE shares the same development philosophy as JEC Group. After 26 years of hard work, we have established a long-term and good cooperative relationship with the industry, academia, scientific research institutions, associations, media and relevant government departments, striving to build an online/offline professional platform for technical communication, information exchange and personnel exchange, where the whole composite value chain is actively engaged in. CCE has now become China's and even the world’s bellwether for the development of the composite industry, well-known at home and abroad.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition activities of the global composite industry have been seriously affected. Many enterprises have been facing financial difficulties and made decisions to suspend their production, reduce their annual expenditures, downgrade their annual performance expectations, etc. Under such circumstances, finding a way to maintain relationships with customers, to establish effective communication mechanisms and to offset the losses caused by COVID-19 became problems faced by all companies.

CCE 2020 will be the industry’s first large-scale exhibition after the epidemic. As a result, almost all the 550+ exhibitors regard it as an important gathering of the industry community this year. CCE 2020 is willing to work with the industry to get out of the shadow of the pandemic and resume normal production and operation under the premise of ensuring personal safety and health.

JEC Composites Magazine: To conclude, do you have a specific message for the composite community?
Liu Biao:
By having the 26th edition of China Composites Expo held as scheduled, we would like to strengthen the confidence of the entire composite industry across the world, which was severely hit by the ravages of COVID-19. With solid determination, I believe that our joint efforts, by upholding the flag of globalization and conducting technological innovation, will finally lead us out of the crisis and restore the vitality of the whole industry.