by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

Eastman Machine Company Announces Appointment of TeCS to Represent Eastman in the UK and Ireland

BUFFALO, New York – Eastman Machine Company announces that it has appointed Technical Cutting (TeCS) of Nottinghamshire to represent its line of automated cutting systems in the UK and Ireland. To offer local testing and education, TeCS strategically established an Eastman technical demonstration facility inside the world-renowned composites specialist Kamm Projects Ltd. in Newcastle.

TeCS is a team of experienced engineers, technicians, and CAD/CAM specialists. The company has extensive experience in cutting room implementation, applications analysis, and service across a variety of machine manufactures. With decades of hands-on customer facing support, specific to automatic cutting and material handling, TeCS is a natural fit for Eastman. “Eastman is part of our DNA,” says Shaun Doohan, owner of TeCS. “That DNA has flowed through nearly every cutting room we have visited in 30 years of service.”

The demonstration facility boasts a fully automated, CNC-controlled Eastman conveyor system to use for cutting trials and software training. As a direct result of the of the TeCS team’s ambition and flexibility, the site opened in early June and is now available by appointment with TeCS. “Having a team that really understands cutting solutions and is also capable of providing valuable support and service mirrors our business concept around the world,” said Elizabeth McGruder, Eastman’s vice president for European sales and marketing. “A local team will provide more options, increased savings and knowledgeable support for all of our customers in the UK.”

With 20 years of manufacturing and engineering experience, Kamm Projects has cultivated a reputation for delivering creative solutions. “We are proud to open our facility and demonstrate how two industry leaders work together in synergy to produce a flawless product, in both design and execution,” says Martin Meir, the Managing Director of Kamm Projects. “The automated technology which Eastman has extended to our facility has given us the confidence to create, design and continually meet the evolving array of design requirements. We are proud to welcome the Eastman conveyor system to our facility and look forward to hosting Eastman training and demonstration events in the near future.”

Eastman has installed thousands of automated cutting systems worldwide. Automated cutting systems offer time and labor-saving solutions to manufacturers using composite materials and industrial fabrics in the aerospace, transport, marine, apparel and safety industries, among others.

Eastman has been manufacturing manually-operated cutting machines, automated CNC cutting systems, CAD/CAM software programs and material handling equipment in Buffalo since 1888. For more information, visit www.eastmancuts.com.

by Lydia Anaka Lydia Anaka

D’Addario: Music Accessories to Medical Necessities

Farmingdale, NY – Helping alleviate the dire shortage of medical protective gear is the current mission of D’Addario, a musical instrument manufacturer and Eastman Machine Company patron. D’Addario has been able to repurpose its production facilities to fabricate protective face shields for healthcare workers in need.

Cutting the FDA approved Dynatomy clear film for its face shields is usual practice for D’Addario. It is the same material and process used to fabricate the popular Evans G2 drumhead. Even before D’Addario factories were closed, the team was devising a way to use its resources to support the global response to COVID-19. Since the end of April, the company has been producing up to 100,000 shields per week.

D’Addario has committed to making 1,500,000 face shields by the end of July but they do not plan to stop any time soon.

“It’s our intention to manufacture these shields as long as they’re needed in New York or anywhere around the globe,” says Jim D’Addario, the Chief Innovation Officer. “We feel an immense responsibility to do our part in overcoming the COVID-19 crisis.”

Committed to providing musicians the most innovative musical accessories in the world, D’Addario sources the highest quality materials and machinery. Over a decade ago, D’Addario invested in an automated conveyor system from Eastman. The American-made machine has been a reliable asset to D’Addario in its usual production of musical accessories and now medical face shields.

John D’Addario III, CEO of D’Addario, decided to name his company’s efforts Project Excelsior, after the New York State motto. Excelsior means ‘Ever Upward’ and he felt this program title captured the incredible dedication of his small team while typifying the company’s current adage: #WeWillPlayOn.

Eastman Machine Company applauds D’Addario for its ingenuity and quick turnaround in production. “Millions of medical professionals across the globe now have access to protection, because of our customers,” says Robert Stevenson, Eastman President and CEO. “I am humbled by the continued effort.”

Hundreds of cutting solutions are proudly designed and manufactured at Eastman Machine Company’s headquarters in Buffalo, New York. Complimentary test cut evaluations to capture the machine’s speed and recommended configuration are available by contacting the Eastman headquarters at +1-716-856-2200.

Watch a video of the production of PPE at D’Addario here.

To learn more about D’Addario: www.daddario.com

by Eastman Machine Company Eastman Machine Company

Prepreg Processing: Considerations for Cutting Pre-impregnated Composites

Addressing the challenges of prepreg processing, including cutting, requires an understanding of what makes them different from other composite materials. Rather than reinforcing composite fibers or fabrics with resin after cutting and building, prepregs have been impregnated with resin prior to the manufacturing process.

Glass, carbon, or aramid are infused, layered, or coated with a resin such as epoxy resin, phenolic resin, polyurethane, polypropylene, vinyl ester, silicone, PU, or PTFE. The polymer used to create the prepreg composite depends on the material’s end-use and dictates the manufacturing process the material will endure. After cutting and molding, the prepreg composite is cured with a combination of heat and pressure, usually in an autoclave with a vacuum pump.

Prepregs present many advantages for manufacturers. Resins are added via machine, giving the producer more control over the ratio of fibers to polymer. This process is completed by the material manufacturer, rather than at the facility producing the final product. Aerospace, energy, and automotive businesses are able to streamline the manufacturing process by eliminating the need to store and apply resin separately. Companies in the wind energy, architecture, and sporting goods industries also rely on the benefits of prepregs.

Considerations for Cutting Prepregs

Many of the challenges of prepreg processing lie in cutting. Businesses must take into consideration the inherent properties of prepregs. This integral part of the manufacturing process is also unique to each end product. The right prepreg cutting solution must be functional, reliable, customizable, and versatile.

Functionality

The manufacturing process and end product dictate how a business approaches cutting a prepreg and its accompanying peel ply. A prepreg cutting machine must be able to adapt to the many ways manufacturers cut these layers. This may include removing the top or bottom peel ply layer (or both the top and bottom layers) prior to the material entering the cutter. Or, prepreg processing may require that only the peel ply layer is scored using a “kiss cut” method that leaves the composite itself unscathed.

A smooth, easy-to-clean cutting surface is essential, especially in manufacturing processes where the peel ply is removed prior to cutting. Eastman Machine recommends its polyurethane cutting belts because the material is easy to clean, ensuring the prepreg is not contaminated during cutting. Felt cutting belts can “shed” fiber particles and degrade the quality of the raw material.

An ultrasonic tool head, cutting at 20,000 oscillations per second, also helps address the challenges of prepreg processing. This type of tool spindle offers accuracy, speed, and repeated quality by reducing blade gumming and friction, even when cutting tacky materials. Reducing friction also minimizes the prepreg’s exposure to heat, which can cause the resin in the material to begin curing prematurely.

Reliability

Prepreg composites’ lifespan at room temperature is limited. Depending on the material, it may need to be cured within hours, days, or weeks of entering production. An efficient, reliable automated cutting solution is crucial to minimizing wasted materials and labor costs. Eastman’s machines are backed by decades of engineering excellence as well as industry-leading customer service.

Customizable and Versatile

Prepregs are used in a wide variety of industries because of their unique benefits. This means that prepreg processing varies dramatically across industries, businesses, and final products. The most effective cutting solution is one that is both customizable and versatile. Eastman Machine’s experienced applications specialists work with businesses of all sizes to determine which prepreg cutter, tool head, blades, and material handling equipment are best suited for their unique needs. These versatile solutions allow businesses to maximize their raw materials, labor, and production equipment.