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Vistagy’s survey reveals 44% of composite engineering firms lack expertise to design for manufacturability

News International-French

10 Aug 2011

Vistagy recently announced the results of a its composites engineering benchmarking survey  entitled, “How Does your Composite Design Process Compare to Industry Best Practices?” The study revealed only 56 percent of the composite design companies surveyed considered themselves knowledgeable in composites manufacturing practices and applied that knowledge during design.

That implies that 44 percent of companies need to enhance their knowledge of the manufacturing process if they want to improve their competitiveness.


VISTAGY invites all composite design and manufacturing companies to participate in its extended survey and receive a complimentary copy of the report by going to: And companies wishing to have a personal discussion of the results as it relates to their specific situation can contact VISTAGY by going to


The survey report is comprised of 140 responses across multiple industries, most prominently aerospace, automotive, and wind energy. Other relevant demographics of the respondents include region (65 percent US, 25 percent European, 10 percent Asian), and annual revenue of their companies (24 percent over $1B and 37 percent under $50M).


Goals for companies designing with composites varied, with 81 percent looking to reduce weight, 69 percent seeking to improve strength-to-weight ratios, 51 percent attempting to combine multiple parts, 25 percent seeking to extend product life, and 31 percent striving to lower maintenance costs.


The primary goal achievement metrics provided perhaps the most important results of the survey because they speak to the reasons that engineers adopt composites. The report states that, “Achieving these goals provides insight into the maturity of the company processes, domain expertise, and overall tool implementation and use. Any company that scored high here should be considered a high performing practitioner of composites engineering.”


In this context, best-in-class companies:
• Average combining six or more parts into one (10 percent actually combine 10 or more parts, while 34 percent of companies lag others by treating composites as black metal and only replacing parts at a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio)
• Reduce maintenance costs (and likewise improve quality and extend product lifecycles) by 30 percent or more by taking advantage of inherent material properties
• Reduce weight by 30 percent or more with a full 34 percent beating their weight reduction goals. 

“We conducted this study to enable our customers and others in the composites industry to understand where they stand compared to their peers and how they could improve their performance,” said Bruce Boes, vice president of product management and marketing for VISTAGY. “One thing that really stood out was that companies with best-in-class performance had a high correlation to the maturity of their processes. These companies also made the decision to invest in design resources and were more interested in achieving part cost targets than actually lowering their part costs, a major breakthrough in designing to take full advantage of all of the benefits of composites technology.”


VISTAGY, Inc. is a leading global provider of industry-specific engineering software and services that create rich product descriptions for better-informed decision making early in the design cycle. The company enhances commercial 3D CAD platforms by applying specialized process knowledge and domain expertise to create solutions that solve some of the world's most complex engineering problems. As a result, customers significantly increase their reuse of engineering data and ultimately reduce cost, improve quality, and cut time to market. VISTAGY is a strategic partner to hundreds of leading manufacturers in the aerospace, automotive, and wind energy industries, including Bombardier Aerospace, General Motors, and Sinomatech Wind Power Blade Co. The company is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA.

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