This is in addition to Zoltek Automotive, a subsidiary formed in April 2010 to accelerate the incorporation of carbon fibre products into automotive applications.
The aim of the restructuring is to better align Zoltek resources with specific market opportunities and future growth. Zoltek believes that Wind Energy, Composite Intermediates, and Technical Fibres are markets that represent significant short-term growth for the company, while automotive applications represent significant long-term growth.
The Wind Energy Business Unit is structured to capitalise on Zoltek’s largest potential market. Zoltek believes that 2011-2012 will be a critical period when major wind energy companies will develop larger turbines that require carbon fibre.
Dr Philip Schell was recently promoted to Executive Vice President, Wind Energy and will lead this Zoltek business unit.
Carbon fibre products
The Composite Intermediate Business Unit will focus on the commercialisation of value-added carbon fibre products.
According to Zoltek, the process of converting carbon fibres into a finished product is still plagued by a fragmented, inefficient supply chain. The company is now directing its commercialisation efforts to higher-throughput, lower-cost conversion methods designed to consolidate the supply chain and open up new market applications. These value-added, or 'composite intermediate', products are being developed by Zoltek’s R&D group.
This business unit will be led by David Purcell, who was recently promoted to Vice President, Composite Intermediates.
Finally, Zoltek has decided to add manpower to its Technical Fibers Business Unit, which includes the Pyron® and Panex® 30 carbon fibre product lines. Zoltek’s strong aircraft brake business and its significant growth capacity in flame and heat resistant applications in the automotive industry and protective clothing are driving growth in this business.
Zoltek plans to strengthen its position in these markets and develop new applications for heat and friction resistant technical fibres.
Peter Oswald has been named Vice President of this Technical Fibres business unit.
Zoltek Automotive is developing processes that are quicker and more efficient in the use of carbon fibre, products that will improve production of finished parts, and process machines and new intermediate products designed to suit high-volume automotive applications.
Zoltek Automotive is led by Zoltek CTO George Husman.
Commercialisation of carbon fibre
Zoltek’s primary goal is to continue its leadership in the commercialisation of carbon fibre.
“This is an exciting time for our company; the realignment of our business focus and these subsequent management changes are necessary to keep Zoltek moving forward and on the leading edge of commercializing carbon fibre,” says Zoltek CEO Zsolt Rumy.
Zoltek Corporation (Nasdaq: ZOLT), headquartered in Missouri, USA, develops carbon fibre and carbon fibre application solutions used in wind turbines, automobiles, infrastructure, and various commercial products.