Speaker interview with Francesco Abbá

60 seconds with the Sales and Marketing Manager at Cannon Afros

You are delivering a presentation focusing on “Cannon hosting Go Carbon: visiting a modern equipment manufacturing centre facing the challenges of aesthetic carbon fibre parts” – could you please give us a quick sneak peek of what we can expect to hear?

Carbon fibre is a growing market. The target of reducing the weight, increasing the performance and lowering the emissions in the transportation industry is clear. On the other hand, the aesthetic aspects of the visible carbon fibre parts can also have an impact on the further development of a company like Cannon, and can help the sector grow. This is why exploring niche markets like the aesthetic aspect of high volume, industrial Carbon Fibre parts, can be the correct way to express the high innovation capability of Cannon. The aim of the presentation will be the way we expresses ourselves on a global market, not only for composites, and how we also address issues like the aesthetic aspects of carbon fibre in an innovative and complete approach.

The visitors will be then walked through 3 Cannon companies dedicated to plastics’ processing technologies (Cannon Afros, Cannon Ergos and Cannon Automata). This will include plants and machines for continuous and discontinuous processing of polyurethanes, and other reactive polymers, plants for the processing of composite materials and equipment to manufacture thermoforming. The visit will include the Cannon R&D centre as well, where innovative projects take shape with new material suppliers and client collaborations.

What are the main challenges and opportunities for the carbon fibre and composites industry?

Aerospace and automotive are the markets driven by “fuel efficiency” which takes into consideration environmental issues and operating costs. These are not the only markets that will increase: wind turbine blades will be a key market segment for composites. It is foreseen that both glass fibre and carbon fibre reinforced composites will grow globally at a higher than 9% annual rate until 2023.

Oil and gas applications are interesting to develop, thanks to the corrosion resistant proprieties of carbon fibre.

Some interesting applications of recycled carbon fibre in the medical field has recently been developed in Cannon - we will see the results of the trials carried out in Cannon R&D laboratory.

Lowering production costs (of both materials and products) and production time will be the challenge, to make composite materials more and more competitive.

What does the Carbon Fibre market in Europe look like?

The forecast of the carbon fibre market is very positive. The use of this material in massive production forces us to seriously consider the life cycle of these products, and identifies the recycling of this material as the main topic in a circular economy. In Europe, different technologies have recently been developed and Cannon contributing to this.

What do you see as the most significant shifts for the carbon fibre and composites industry in the past 2 years?

The trend of high volume production of carbon fibres parts went from the initial high expectation for HP-RTM technology to more diversified approaches over time. The wide and complex architecture of the parts led to a very different way of coping with different material characteristics in terms of performances and processability. Therefore, over time, a very important shift in the design of the parts happened, thanks to a more evolved and mature approach to composites materials. This allowed its use in a more effective and efficient way, in combination with a more refined “composite multi-material hybrid approach”.

Why do you feel that is important for people to attend GOCarbonFibre 2019?

GOCarbonFibre is the most important meeting point for CF “stakeholders”: material suppliers, operators of the production chain, research and academic world and OEMs to exchange their views of the market, experience, technologies and future trends. At GOCarbonFibre we are developing the future of the use of this material together, that is a huge responsibility!