When you’ve reach production scale, Harper’s 3M and 4M carbon fiber lines are the ideal choice, focused on process effectiveness, product quality and operational optimization. Born from our years of experience in helping customers from around the world grow from fractions of kilograms per hour to tons per year, Harper’s unique expertise with carbon fiber production equipment is in linking the process steps offering a seamless and fluid line with maximum efficiency.
Harper’s focus is on the continual advancement of core our technologies, to support the growth of the carbon fiber market to newer and greater heights. For example, our design for Oxidation Ovens goes beyond other technologies with –
- design enhancements that maximize reuse of energy available from waste gas abatement
- instrumentation and control advances that allow for a high degree of process optimization
- end-seals that maximize of effective heated volume and drastically reduce of ingress of room air and the chimney effect.
These advances equate to a two to three fold reduction in consumed energy.
Our design enhancements in LT and HT Furnace end seals, insulation, atmospheric controls and purge chambers provide superior performance, delivering optimal temperature uniformity, minimal air ingress, and excellent process gas flow uniformity. Harper’s process experts are passionate about helping customer’s take advantage of these design features. We aim to help customers achieve product quality goals and the highest level of planned and predicative operational activities for the most efficient use of resources.
Current energy markets and environmental regulations have produced significant advantages to thermal processing equipment that use natural gas for fuel. Harper has experience with producing reliable combustion heated processing equipment for a variety of industries and applications, and is innovating the design of gas-fired production scale Carbon Fiber Furnaces and Ovens, as well sizing dryers and air pollution abatement systems, to take advantage of natural gas benefits. Capital cost for gas-fired equipment comes at a slight premium and the return on investment (ROI) can vary with the location of the installation. However, we have seen an ROI of less than two years in North America when compared with electrically heated equipment. Additional options for heat recovery to increase efficiency can be implemented in regions of the world that command higher fuel gas prices.
As with any scale line, Harper offers customized training, service and maintenance options based on the needs of the client with our Pulse™ program. Beyond training, Harper’s commitment to ongoing and rapid response to keep the client and their facility operations running smoothly and meet evolving and emerging system requirements is well known in the industry.
Watch this video that brings to life the critical carbon fiber scale up path from small scientific research lines to full scale production, or read more about Harper’s comprehensive technology offering in carbon fiber processing no matter what stage of commercialization:
We take on a comprehensive view of issues pertaining to material transport that extend beyond individual unit operations. Our expertise designing material handling, raw material through product packaging, ensures best functionality, maximizes throughput, minimizes scrap and maintains consistent product quality. Harper offers a variety of feeding and material handling solutions, including creel stations, winders, drive stands, and material conditioning such as combs, moistener, spreader bars, bypass rollers, and centering roll systems.
Pre & Post Treatment and Material Conditioning
Harper engineers bring a wealth of experience in pre and post-treatment and material conditioning using a variety of solutions. Whether traditional or emerging methods – chemical, electrochemical, plasma, or gaseous treatments – we work with your process to ensure thoughtful management of chemical preparation and minimization and treatment of the effluent solutions from the conditioning. Harper aims to design technologies that integrate seamlessly into the line and deliver on desired technical and business objectives.
As the standard in thermal processing technology for carbon fiber since the industry’s inception, Harper offers a range of equipment in thermal regimes beyond what others can, including furnaces and oxidation ovens in lab scale, pilot scale and full production scale sizes. We have the building blocks to design solutions for the most challenging thermal processes, using our years of experience and practice to devising first-of-a-kind, custom systems for world class material manufacturers.
Harper’s most recent 3 meter wide production scale Oxidation Oven demonstrates outstanding performance for key metrics including air velocity uniformity measuring at 2.2%, and temperature uniformity of +/-2.5°C throughout the entire heated length. This innovative oven design enables enhanced performance with higher and more efficient rates of production.
Gas Treatment and Handling
Harper approaches gas treatment and handling with several objectives. Not only do our designs focus on managing emissions and treatment of off-gas in an environmentally conscience manner, but we also carefully consider opportunities for energy recovery for use within the process.
Learn more – Gas Treatment and Handling
Fully Integrated Control Systems
From first point of engagement, Harper carefully designs a production plant with rigorous detail and thoughtful consideration of how the facility will be operated. Our controls group develops sequence of operations (SOP’s) that drive simultaneously toward efficiency, and enhanced product quality. Our fully integrated systems connect all process equipment to one centralized control system, ensuring operation is that of a cooperative plant all functioning on the same control platform rather than individual and isolated control platforms.
Learn more – Fully Integrated Control Systems