General Composites was founded in 1987 around the idea that, while composite materials can offer great advantages in the design and production of a wide variety of products, they cost too much. At that time, composites processing seemed too expensive and too "fancy" to blossom outside of the aerospace industry. Since then, General Composites has been on a mission to match the performance of aerospace production processes with the cost and cycle benefits of more traditional practices found in parallel industries.
What Does GCi Do Well?
General Composites is a Contract Manufacturer of efficiently made high-end composite components for virtually all markets. Unlike most manufacturers in our industry, our company has not focused on a specific market or a specific process, but on the unique capabilities of the materials themselves. As a result we have no limitations when it comes to helping you with your product. We are at our best when a project requires multiple processes (or we have to start from scratch!), and has critical elements or special challenges. High production requirements, no problem. Heavily regulated markets, we can do that. Innovation is at the foundation of almost every project we take on. As you look through our Case Studies you will see that we have tackled many challenges in a variety of markets, for quite some time.
Because innovation is at the root of everything we do at GCi, we have a vast toolbox of capabilities at our fingertips. We do virtually all operations in-house so that we can maintain control over quality, cost, and schedule – because we know how important that is to our customer. GCi has a full CNC Fabrication shop and Electronics Lab, in addition to all of our production capabilities like packaging, part finishing, radiography, and CMM inspection. If we do not already have it, we'll find it or develop it.
High performance, high production Resin Transfer Molding (HP-RTM) is something that General Composites has taken to an entirely new level. We offer production capacity up to hundreds of thousands of parts annually (or just a few if that is all you need), with fiber volumes approaching 60%. Bladders, low melt cores, wash-out cores, mandrels, machined and cast foam cores can all be combined with almost any resin and fiber system to get you what you need with this process.
Thermoplastic composite fabrication brings an additional dimension to the capabilities of General Composites, and sets us apart from our competition. We have developed machinery and processing to handle the latest generations of thermoplastic composite materials and this opens the door to many applications not thought possible in the past. It is safe to say that we are among the first to accomplish this and have been providing high quality parts with fast turnaround and low-cost tooling since the early 90's. This process capability continues to be one of our most unique offerings and greatest strengths.
Long fiber compression molding, transfer molding, high temperature eutectic cores, roll wrapping, pressure molding, diaphragm forming, filament winding (both thermoset and thermoplastic), X-ray inspection, pad printing, packaging, assembly are just a few of the in-house processes that come to mind.
Our capabilities list literally grows daily and as we solve our customers manufacturing challenges. Contact us to learn what we can do for you.
What machinery and equipment do we use?
You can tell a great deal about a business by their equipment list and we are proud of the capabilities that we have attained.
- 50,000 square feet of environmentally-controlled manufacturing space.
- Large Format CNC Routers for core machining and tooling development.
- 12 High Production, Computer Controlled HP-RTM molding cells with capabilities to 500 psi and 400° F.
- Dozens of custom and commercial molding presses with heated platens for various manufacturing methods.
- McClean-Anderson High Temperature Thermoplastic Filament Winder for processing of PEEK/Carbon composites.
- Custom PEEK Transfer Molding Press.
- 400 ton Wabash up-acting transfer press for larger projects.
- 3 HAAS Vertical CNC Machining Centers for mold and tooling fabrication.
- 6 HAAS CNC Tool Rooms for production machining operations.
- Five Axis CNC Capability.
- Full inspection lab with 7 Axis FARO CMM capability.
- Low-melt metal/Eutectic salt Die-casting Center for creating complex, easily removed cores.
- Several Semi-automatic Diaphragm Formers with vacuum assist. For processing of thermoplastic composite sheets up to 24" by 36".
- Gerber model 2500 CNC fabric cutter with nesting software, 24′ × 5′ for low-cost, pattern generation.
- Lab scale Injection Molder, 1 oz.
- 200 sq feet of 0 degree freezer storage for prepregs and other temperature sensitive materials.
- Dedicated assembly and packaging areas.
- HEPA clean room (uncertified at this time)for critical operations.
- Fully equipped Research and Development Lab for new product/process development.
- Fully equipped maintenance area and machine shop to reduce downtime.