The 300sqm cleanroom space is for manufacturing Quartz and other non-carbon fibre materials
North Thin Ply Technology (NTPT), the Swiss laminate composite specialist, has announced the opening of new laboratory facilities and a 300sqm cleanroom production area at its headquarters in Renens. The production facility is a state-of-the-art cleanroom dedicated to the manufacture of Quartz and other non-carbon fibre materials.
The production facility is a state-of-the-art cleanroom dedicated to the manufacture of Quartz and other non-carbon fibre materials
This new development is a step forward in the long-term collaboration with watchmaker GMV-Richard Mille, which includes the exclusive supply of lightweight Thin Ply materials and solutions to Richard Mille horology, jewellery and writing instrument designs, as announced in February this year. The two companies have worked together since 2013.
Amongst other things, the new NTPT-designed prepreg line features antistatic bars, a suction unit and a new creel system, to prevent contamination and to ensure optimum quality output. The new one cubic metre autoclave has a maximum pressure of 10 bars and maximum temperature of 260˚C.
"With the capacity to produce 7500km of fibre and more than 7-tonnes of Thin Ply composites annually, this new line is a significant development and investment for the company," NTPT said in a statement.
Executives from NTPT and GMV-Richard Mille celebrated the opening of the new cleanroom production area
The R&D equipment has been upgraded to increase development capacity and to facilitate improved time to market for new GMV-Richard Mille designs, and includes differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), viscometer, microscopes, and an Instron mechanical bench test.
While exclusive to GMV-RM for horology, jewellery and writing instrument applications, NTPT welcomes enquiries from companies with other applications that also require a high level of contamination-free composite material.
NTPT also said that GMV-RM will establish an onsite showroom of its products, where clients and other visitors can see how these high-quality, specialised composites are developed and produced.
Commenting on the announcement, NTPT CEO, Ludovic Chichignoud, said: “We were pleased to celebrate the opening of the new facilities with the team at GMV-RM. This is an exciting step for NTPT and GMV-Richard Mille, and for our collaboration, and one which now enables us to develop advanced and highly complex composite solutions more quickly for the unique Richard Mille designs.”