I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Mrs. Frederique Mutel, president & CEO, JEC Composites to discuss the upcoming JEC Americas Composite Show & Conference, Nov 7 - 9, 2012, Boston, MA.
AMD: Could you start by talking about the objectives of JEC and its philosophy?
Mutel: JEC represents, promotes, and helps with the expansion of the composite market by providing global and local networking and information services. JEC Group belongs to a non-profit association which was created in 1956. The Board of Directors includes heads of international companies from many different industry segments, including Umeco, Agy Advanced Glass Yarns, CCP Composites, Chomarat, CPC, DSM, Duqueine Group, Hexcel, Huntsman, IDI International, OCV, Porcher Industries, and Sora.
Our philosophy is to serve the composite industry through financial backing. This is accomplished by reinvesting all revenues into the development of new products and services for the composite sector. JEC continues to pursue its mission to inform and provide technical training for composite professionals by regularly launching new publications and promoting them through our e-store. JEC allocates major resources for the research and studies of specific composite applications while devoting significant funding for the creation of programs which promote innovation while fostering the connections between science, technology and business.
AMD: With a strong presence in Europe, why is JEC looking toward the United States?
Mutel: The composite industry originally began in the United States and has been a focus of JEC since our inception. Our organization receives important feedback from American companies that largely use our platforms and services. The U.S. composite market is the first in the world to reach U.S. $35 billion in revenue.
Our magazine has been well received with a BPA audited circulation of 33,946 subscribers, and a large amount (approximately 33%) coming from the U.S. JEC's Magazine has received two prestigious awards from the Trade Association of Business Publications International, Cleveland, OH in 2005.
For decades, many American composite manufacturers have been joining our activities, media events, conferences, and trade-shows. With support from JEC, many U.S. manufacturers, both small and large, are turning into global companies.
AMD: With more than 162,000²ft of exhibitor space filled, what can attendees from the aerospace industry expect to see?
Mutel: Attendees from the aerospace industry can expect to meet individuals from more than 300 participating companies during the JEC Show & Conference and about 4,000 to 5,000 composites professionals. Together with our partner IFAI (Industrial Fabrics Association International), we co-locate our conferences & exhibitions. Together, we present a platform of about 600+ exhibitors with more than 10,000+ professionals from 64 countries. This alliance benefits companies looking for technical textiles and composites solutions.
Two awards will highlight Aerospace portion of the show, Hexcel HexMC wil receive an award from both The Boeing Company and GE Honda Aero Engines Ltd. while Swift Engineering Inc.will receive an award from Richmond Aircraft Products Inc.
AMD: What types of topics are going to be discussed during the conference schedule?
Mutel: There are more than 100 sessions available during the show.
The main topics for Aerospace sector will be:
- Bottom-up approach for the efficient design of composite structures
- New composites materials and applications
- Lightweight army materials for multifunctional applications
- Carbon Fibers: Technological developments and new projects
- Thermoplastics applications
- Lowering the cost of composites.
AMD: Composites play an important role in aerospace. Boeing’s new 787-dreamliner is made from more than 50% composite material. In what direction do you see the future for composites moving in the aerospace market, in particular for the U.S. market?
Mutel: Aerospace manufacturers are facing a major issue. The cost of operating an aircraft is increasing due to the cost of oil. To help resolve this situation and preserve their margins, airline companies are trying to reduce weight in any manner possible. Thanks to the use of composites, the Boeing 787 is slated to reduce the total cost of ownership by 20% to 30% during the aircraft life (Source Estin Study).
As for the future for composites, my advice is to come and listen to such prestigious Aerospace speakers such as Alan T. Nettles, NASA, Professor Steven Tsai, Stanford, Dana M. Granville, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, James R. Hecht, MAG, Otto Kellenberger, Kuka.