COMPOSITES EUROPE Blog interviewed Stephan Knappe – International Sales and Applications Manager at NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH09 September 2011 | By Angela in aerospace, Aerospace Industry, Architecture, Automotive Industry, Business, Composite production, Construction Industry, Electronics, Engineering, Exhibitors, Innovation, Technology, Wind Energy Industry
COMPOSITES EUROPE Blog interviewed Stephan Knappe – International Sales and Applications Manager at NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH. The company is a new exhibitor at COMPOSITES EUROPE show in September!
SK: Stephan Knappe
Q: Please introduce yourself – who are you, what are your responsibilities at NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH?
SK: Chemical engineer, International Sales and Applications Manager, dedicated to polymer and composite applications. Currently also responsible for sales in Southern Europe.
Q: Could you give us a quick overview of NETZSCH-Gerätebau GmbH?
SK: NETZSCH group with now approx. 2500 employees is coming from high-temperature field such as ceramics. Selb is a porcelain town. The business unit Analyzing & Testing with approx. 360 employees (NETZSCH-Gerätebau is the head company here, established in 1962) is also focusing polymer and composite applications for thermal characterization since approx. 1990. Rolf Preuß from our marketing department can send you our press release regarding our company itself.
Q: Has your company always worked in the field of composites?
SK: see above point 2.
Q: What kind of projects have you undertaken for clients? Do you have a current project?
SK: We have customers from the automotive, aircraft, electronic industry who use our instrumentation for composites. We have key customers and projects with the target of the substitution of metals with polymer-based composites. Further on we have customers for renewable industry, e.g. rotor blades for wind power plants who use our instruments.
Q: Looking to the future, where do you think the composites industry is headed? What are you looking forward to seeing?
SK: As soon as the resin manufacturers develop fast-curing resins (curing time of approx. 1 min) it makes sense for the production of large numbers of parts, e.g. covers and spoilers for automotive industry. Currently the curing times are still too long and therefore dedicated to bigger parts with lower amounts per day (as e.g. aircraft industry). We as NETZSCH Analyzing & Testing do not only manufacture instrument hardware but also software. With our Thermokinetics software package we can simulate and optimize curing process with the target to receive the best degree of curing in a certain limited time at a defined temperature.
Q: What other companies do you think are doing really good work in the composites industry?
SK: Since the use of composites is increasing there are many companies – also small developing companies – who have a very nice potential for this market. Nowadays it is important that already during development everybody is sitting in the same boat: resin manufacturers, fiber manufacturers, polymer processors, mold makers, engineering companies for automatic handling devices and – last but not least – companies like NETZSCH for advanced analysing and testing the material and the final products.
Q: Finally, are you looking forward to the COMPOSITES EUROPE show?
SK: Yes I will be there: 27-28 of Sep.