Composites Central

Go Back   Composites Central > General Composites Discussions > Composites Talk

Reply
Old 07-19-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
Nickerz

New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: In the warehouse
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts



Default Question about the economics of CF work

I run an auto parts warehouse and I'm contemplating adding a composite section and hiring a composite guy or several. I've got 2 vehicles that he\she can tear apart inside and out to create parts out of to sort of test the waters. Both of them have a performance aftermarket for them.

My question is in regards to the economics of this business. I'm considering signing up for a CF class that covers the basics and some of the advanced methods to be able to properly oversee the program, however I need to also understand the time & costs involved.

Would it be out of line as a newbie for me to ask how much time and QTY of materials involved to say create a hood? Something straight forward and usual. So a modern, curved hood without a bunch of custom work on it. Just a duplication of a stock part.

From my understanding there are some different ways to do this.
  • Reverse mold for dry or wet layup
  • Reverse mold for vacuum infusion
  • CNC mold for high volume production
I talked to a local guy and he mentioned that the reverse molds can become unusable fairly quickly, between 10-20 times.



Unless this question is inappropriate, I would be interested in understanding
  • Amount of "on hand" (time where a laborer is actually working, not waiting) time to create a mold of this complexity.
  • Amount of materials to create the mold (5x 60x60" sheets of wood, 1 gallon of resin etc)
  • Amount of materials to create the part
  • Amount of "on hand" time to create the part
I have the resources to order "enough" materials to hit a certain level of economies of scale, but on the other hand, I have to monitor if our current business model and investments don't exceed the returns that this work can do.


I know this is probably a very detailed question to be asking, but I am genuinely interested in being able to hire a couple people in my state and this question would go very far in making that a reality.
Nickerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-19-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
Defi

New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 8
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts



Default

Here is a youtube link to a video that a company posted to educate the public on how to create a hood. They also list materials and quantities for a single hood and go through the vacuum infusion process step by step.

Defi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-20-2013, 01:17 PM   #3
herman

Composites Expert
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2,389
Thanks: 69
Thanked 361 Times in 314 Posts



Default

OK, my random view on things. mostly technical, and open ended. This is because I have no idea where your warehouse lives, no idea of availability of materials, skilled labour, market, even parts.

I presume (as this is the most logical route at the moment) that you will employ infusion with epoxy. However, your skilled worker might have other preferences (wet layup, wet bagging, prepreg.)
Make sure that the guy can produce consistent results, and that the preferred materials (specifically the resin) has a high heat resistance.

For your parts:

specify a relatively fixed set of materials, and that list should be very short, for instance (but discuss this with your supplier, and choose what he has available for a decent price). A list could look like:

200-240 grams (5.7-6.5 oz) carbon fabric, 3K. This is the carbon look people are after. Relatively expensive material, so suggested to only use for top layers.
400 grams (12 oz) carbon multiaxial (biax45), which is a lot cheaper, and stiffer too.
160 grams (5 oz) glass fabric.
12 oz glass multiaxial
Soric 2mm
Foam 5 lb/ft3 in 1/8" and 1/4" (for your relatively small parts damaged sheets are nice)
Epoxy resin (infusion, high Tg, 80C minimum)
Resin infusion materials, like peelply, perf film, vacuum film, infusion mesh, MTI hose, spiral, sealant tape, small stuff.

Vacuum system, adjustable, 5 mbar or lower
Resin catch pot / degassing chamber
Roll rack
Cutting table
Oven, computer (PID) programmable. (ramp/soak)

Tooling materials:
Epoxy or polyester tooling system, documented, and known to give good results. Keep in mind the mould should survive your postcure cycles.

Procedure:
-adapt existing part for splashing a mould from
-make mould
-postcure mould
-apply release
-load mould with dry fiber / laminate stack
-load with infusion consumables
-apply vacuum
-integrity test
-infuse with resin
-cure
-postcure
-release part
-sand and trim, drill holes if needed
-assemble Multi part products
-spray paint

But again, your workers should either be tought by you or anyone else, or bring the knowledge.
herman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2013, 04:57 AM   #4
Burrito

Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Miami, Fl
Posts: 13
Thanks: 5
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts



Default

Make sure your resin is UV stable or the part will yellow fairly quickly.
Burrito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2013, 10:52 AM   #5
Nickerz

New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: In the warehouse
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts



Default

Thanks for all the help so far guys. Are UV stable & UV resistant the same thing? Looks like I need to order about 100KG of resin to hit economies of scale. Not sure how many parts that would make I'm going to experiment with a couple parts on the low end to see how it would scale.

I also see that shelf life is about a year with that. So I guess I need to see if I can go through a 100KG of resin a year for a starter! From my preliminary looks, it would appear that is about 400 small parts.

As far as the carbon itself, looking at ordering 100 square meters. As I dig deeper I'll let you guys know!

I would be bringing on someone who has CF experience already. I did a search around the area at it seems that composite jobs pay around $15\hr. I'm not sure what level of seniority that is though. For a "self starter" that can really do it all, I would assume I have to pay more. Is $20\25hr realistic?
Nickerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
oronero

Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Portugal
Posts: 84
Thanks: 36
Thanked 8 Times in 8 Posts



Default

Is that a good rate of pay for a skilled composite person in the US?

I'd rather stay in bed!
oronero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-22-2013, 02:32 PM   #7
dallasb84

Composites Expert
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: va
Posts: 709
Thanks: 23
Thanked 39 Times in 36 Posts



Send a message via Yahoo to dallasb84
Default

10-27 is average salaries 40 + hours a week I'd say. In aero especially the jobs are divided up. You have clean room techs, trim shop, paint shop assembly and so on. In California I know a few companies start layup techs in the 15 range... But I would say they are fairly unskilled.

Someone that can make tooling and produce parts start to finish is probably going to be hard to find. Unless you have someone in mind.

I would look for painting and the ability to pay attention to detail I suppose.

Good luck figuring it out. I would think one skilled tech that can handle projects start to finish would be much more valuable and cheaper than 3 unskilled fiberglassers messing everything up.

Looks like your headed into a partnership if you lack the experience and skill. Maybe offer a low rate of pay with a commission incentive?
dallasb84 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to dallasb84 For This Useful Post:
tonhol (07-22-2013)
Old 07-29-2013, 10:13 AM   #8
Nickerz

New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: In the warehouse
Posts: 3
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts



Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dallasb84 View Post
10-27 is average salaries 40 + hours a week I'd say. In aero especially the jobs are divided up. You have clean room techs, trim shop, paint shop assembly and so on. In California I know a few companies start layup techs in the 15 range... But I would say they are fairly unskilled.

Someone that can make tooling and produce parts start to finish is probably going to be hard to find. Unless you have someone in mind.

I would look for painting and the ability to pay attention to detail I suppose.

Good luck figuring it out. I would think one skilled tech that can handle projects start to finish would be much more valuable and cheaper than 3 unskilled fiberglassers messing everything up.

Looks like your headed into a partnership if you lack the experience and skill. Maybe offer a low rate of pay with a commission incentive?
That more or less mirrors what I was thinking. CA is a very expensive labor market so my thoughts are that here in WI $20-25\hr could probably get it done but I'd really have to look for the right person. I saw another company in the area noted that they trained fiberglass guys. So assuming they went through the same process I want to, they've figured out these skilled CF guys don't really exist or aren't cost effective.
Nickerz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
economics, question, work

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:19 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Inactive Reminders By Icora Web Design