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Victrex delivers security of supply as airplane production ramps up

News International-French

23 Feb 2012

Victrex Polymer Solutions, the specialist of high performance polyaryletherketones, has reaffirmed its security of supply in anticipation of increased demand as commercial airplane manufacturers plan to boost production rates to record levels.

Victrex issued a Security of Supply statement outlining its ability to provide Victrex PEEK polymer at a time when many other polymer manufacturers are struggling to keep up with customer demand. Victrex has a proven track-record of investing in capacity ahead of demand, creating a stable supply position for its global customers across a wide and growing range of applications in the aerospace, automotive, industrial, oil and gas, alternative energy and electronics sectors.



Amphenol PCD, a subsidiary of Amphenol Corporation, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of interconnect products, is a direct supplier on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and a long-time Victrex customer. Amphenol PCD produces high performance wiring, cable, and hydraulic tubing clamps based on Victrex PEEK that replace traditional metal P-clamps and Saddle clamps. Amphenol PCD chose Victrex PEEK because of its superior strength and ability to reduce overall weight. As Amphenol attests, security of supply was also a very important consideration.



“In the aerospace industry, long-term stability and security of supply in our supply chain is vital,” says Eric Rushbrook, General Manager, Amphenol PCD. “We therefore look very closely at all of our key suppliers’ production capacity and quality control measures to ensure product availability and consistency and to enable us to meet our customers’ demands both now and in the future. Victrex provided us the further assurance we need from one of our key suppliers due to its vertically integrated supply chain.”



According to Tim Cooper, Managing Director at Victrex Polymer Solutions, "Offering a consistent, reliable supply of high quality Victrex PEEK polymer ready for shipment to meet our existing and new customers’ needs is an integral part of our strategy and focus. Our customers today, and in the future, can be confident in our ability to meet their needs for PEEK polymer on time and in full.”



In order to improve fuel efficiency, airplane manufacturers are making extensive use of injection molded thermoplastics as well as composites, films, and pipes in next generation designs including a large number of lightweight structural components made with Victrex PEEK polymer. In order to meet FAA safety requirements, qualified materials must often be certified to aircraft OEM specifications, their tier supplier specifications, and/or military standards (e.g. MIL-P-46183 for PEEK).



Because FAA certifications must be verified on every batch/lot, Victrex holds strategic stock of specified Victrex PEEK grades based on forecasted demand.  Additionally, the Company offers delivery for standard products with a maximum lead time of 5-7 days, and in many cases can deliver within three days.


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