Headquartered at Sweden, Trelleborg’s Engineered Coated Fabrics Operation has installed a new state-of-the-art Rapid Prototype Centre (RPC) in its facility at Rutherfordton, North Carolina, USA. The prototype equipment offers the latest technology in the rapid prototyping field and will help the company bring new products to market faster and at a much lower cost.
According to the company, RPC reduces the time and cost of creating functional coated fabric samples that are highly-correlated to large-scale production equipment. Trelleborg’s research and development team has designed a unique and customized lab sample in the RPC – after defining the customer’s needs, developing a cutting-edge concept, and receiving the customer’s approval – that undergoes stringent testing before moving to serial production.
Steve Brockman, Sales and Business Development Director for Trelleborg’s Engineered Coated Fabrics, commented, “The new RPC capability enables us to bring new products to market faster. After defining the performance requirements with our customers, we can now work through the iterative development and qualification process in a fraction of the time and cost that it would take using our production equipment. Our commitment to rapid innovation will help our customers win in the marketplace.”
Brockman further elaborated that Trelleborg’s investment in RPC technology has enhanced its capability to meet ever-demanding market needs, such as for safety applications on commercial aircraft, tactical gear for defines personnel, life-saving medical equipment, safety clothing for firefighters, and a broad range of protective clothing applications.
The RPC will now contribute significantly to the fourth stage in Trelleborg’s five-step new product development process to ensure customers select the right polymer material and engineered textile for their application and performance requirements.