1. Exposure to the fast growing composite industry
Demand for advanced composite materials has grown 60% in the past 4 years, from 26,000 tonnes in 2006 to 43,000 tonnes in 2010.
Forecasts indicate that this is due to increase to 340,000 tonnes by 2020 – an increase of 800% over the next decade.* These advanced composite materials have one thing in common - they require curing and the more tonnage demanded the faster it will need to be cured.
Quickstep’s unique, patented manufacturing technology offers cost savings and importantly reduced manufacturing (curing) times to meet these future demands.
* Forecasts originated from Professor Andrew Walker, a world expert on composites from the University of Manchester in the UK.
2. Defence Contracts are large scale and long term, with significant barriers to entry
In addition to its patented Quickstep Process, the Company has considerable high end defence and aerospace grade manufacturing capability using both traditional autoclave ovens and Quickstep Process curing. The Company has AS 9100 Rev C qualification - one of only a handful of companies within Australia to meet such standards.
In June 2011 Quickstep achieved Qualified Part List (QPL) from Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin Corporation for the manufacture of parts for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program. This qualification brings the Company's standards to world's best practice for aerospace and defence programs.
In May 2013 Quickstep achieved QPL from Lockheed Martin Corporation for the manufacture of the composite Center and Outer Wing Flap assemblies for the C130J program. These large complex flap assemblies showcase Quicksteps capability to integrate composite components into large scale complex assemblies. This contract provides further opportunities to commercialise the Quickstep Process to reduce the component cost.
In late 2014 Quickstep will be completing NADCAP audits for composite processing, non destructive testing and paint application with anticipation of completing this accreditation by years end.
3.We are the largest independent aerospace composites manufacturer in Australia
In February 2011, Quickstep announced that it would establish a major new manufacturing facility at Bankstown Airport in New South Wales that will underpin the Company’s position as Australia’s largest independent advanced composites manufacturing group.
The word ‘independent’ in this context is vitally important.
The two advanced composite manufacturers in Australia are tied to major aerospace and defence corporations – for example the largest manufacturing facility belongs to Boeing and the third largest is operated by Australian Aerospace, a subsidiary of the major European aerospace company, Airbus.
This means these facilities are primarily available to complete manufacturing contracts on behalf of their parent companies.
As an independent manufacturer, Quickstep has the capacity to actively target contracts from aerospace and defence corporations around the world.
4.We are already working with most major aerospace companies on R&D, with contracts expected to follow
Since first developing the patented Quickstep Process for composites manufacturing in 2001, Quickstep has commenced Research & Development projects with most of the world’s major aerospace groups – including Boeing, Airbus, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky.
As these R&D projects come to fruition, we expect that large scale manufacturing contracts will soon follow.
5.Patented technology that offers dramatic cost savings for composites manufacturing in aerospace and automotive industries
The significant benefits that our patented composites manufacturing process – the Quickstep Process – can offer over traditional manufacturing techniques has been well documented. You can find out more about these benefits here.
The global automotive industry has turned its attention to increasing fuel efficiency which ultimately means reducing weight. The Quickstep Process shows strong promise to not only reduce costs of composite production but also to dramatically reduce the time it takes to manufacture a composite part. This is now confirmed by a first contract with Thales to make sandwich bonnets using RST in substantial quantities.
6.Aggressively targeting new growth opportunities
Quickstep is targeting new business opportunities from around the world for each of the Company’s three distinct business streams:
- The manufacture of advanced aerospace-grade composites
- The development of patented manufacturing technology for advanced composites in Aerospace
- The commercialisation and licensing of its RST technology for Automative in the wake of its first launch contract with Thales