Resources & capabilities

Unique equipment, team and know-how

Cato has a unique set-up and focus to enable development, manufacturing and supply of thermoplastic composite components and products. Our manufacturing processes comprise 4 steps from material preperation, automated thermoforming and compression molding, CNC precision trimming and finishing, assembly and QA/QC. We have programs to continuosly improve our manufacturing capabilities

In our ambition to develop and manufacture superior light weight components we use the best commercially available materials only.

Our development team consisting of dedicated project engineers and technicians conducts developments according to a strict procedure following "stage and gate" principles. We design and manufacture our tools, conduct and controll all the work in-house. This enables us to be fast and responsive resulting in the best possibly quality of product, from development to manufacturing.

Last but not least, we value our relationships with our (material) suppliers and to the universities we are cooperating with.

our manufacturing and development equipment

When developing and manufacturing thermoplastic composite components and products, For our in-house development and manufacturing we have the following unique processes and equipment available:

1. material preperation

  • die cutting
  • water jet cutting
  • manufacturing of tailored composite blanks for thermoforming
  • lamination of specific material lay-ups for creating tailored blanks
  • lamination of surface films

2. thermoforming & fast compression molding

3 automated thermoforming production lines

  • 200 tons, max part size 1,30 x 0,85 m
  • 64 tons size, max part size 1.0 x 0.80 m
  • 100 tons, max part size 0.65 x 0.15 m

4 fast compression moulding presses

  • 60 tons press, max part size 0,8 x 0,6 m
  • 100 tons press, max part size 0,8 x 0,6 m
  • 250 tons press, max part size 1,2 x 0,8 m
  • 200 tons press, max part size 1,5 x 0,9 m

3 prototyping presses

  • a semi-automated thermoforming and compression moulding press, max part size 0.50 x 0.50 m
  • diaphragm molding press, 5 bars, max part size 0,50 x 0,50 m
  • vacuum table

 3. trimming

  • 3 CNC robot precision routing cells to ± 0.05 mm
  • max part size 3,0 x 1,0 m

 4. finishing, assembly and QA/QC

  • deburring and finishing stations
  • product assembly capabilities

 

the Cato team

Currently, Cato operates with a team of 20 peoples. Cato's team consists of a management team of four consisting of general manager and an operations, development and quality manager. Our manufacturing team consists of twelf skilled and trained team of operator for all individual process of manufacturing. Our development teams consists of two project engineers and two technicians guiding the developments step-by-step following "stage and gate" principles. In addition our team is completed with professional and skilled finance, legal and adminstrative members.

Since July 2016 Cato Composite Innovations is accredited by SBB as a training company for technical engineering and business administration. Cato recognizes the need for qualified craftsmen and invests in education and training on the job through offering internships.  

 

our material suppliers

For Cato CI it is important to work closely with key material suppliers across the globe: Continuous Fibre Reinforced Thermoplastic Composite (CFRTP) material suppliers like Bond-Laminates TEPEX®, Celanese Celstran®, SABIC UDMax®, Ten Cate CETEX®, Lankhorst PURE®, Propex Curv® as well as Flax/PLA and Denim/PLA non woven and fabric materials suppliers.

In addition to those material suppliers, Cato CI has ties with sandwich core material suppliers like Thermhex®, Rohacell® and Tubus Bauer, decorative film suppliers and injection moulding material suppliers.

® CETEX is a registered trademark of Ten Cate

® TEPEX is a registered trademark of Bond-Laminates

® UDmax is a registered trademark of Sabic

® PURE is a registered trademark of Lankhorst

® Celstran is a registered trademark of Celanese

® Curv is a registered trademark of Propex

® Rohacell is a registered trademark of Evonik

® Thermhex is a registered trademark of Econcore

 

our partners

We maintain good working relationships with local universities e.g. Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Delft UT, the Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente and the AZL Aachen. Next to that we value our relationships with experienced product designers and our network of tool makers.

 

certifications

Cato is certified according to ISO9001/2015

TUV nederland logo