“CFRP products are inexorably advancing,” he says. “More and more industries which have been dedicated to steel for ages are now discovering the advantages of thermoplastic components. CFRP products have a long life cycle and offer a wide range of application possibilities. They are ideal for series production, and production is environmentally friendly. Currently, all industries are caught up in digital transformation. The aviation and aerospace industries have always been pioneers in new technologies. Often, products that were used in the aviation industry first later made their way into the automotive market.”
At present, xperion focuses on the delivery of prefabricated components, mainly for the Boeing models 777 and 787. The company’s products are used for Airbus parts such as the hull, floors and electronic cables for the Airbus 320, 340 and 350.
In the long run, the company aims to enter into agreements with Altran, Thales and Bombardier, too. In order to enhance its contact network in the aviation and aerospace industry and to showcase its latest developments, the company will be exhibiting at this year’s Airtec trade fair in November.
“Thanks to our products, the A320 needs less energy per passenger and kilometer,” says Dr. Kariger. “This means enormous cost-saving potential, especially on long-haul flights. Also, for example, the Tesla is much more environmentally friendly with our lightweight products. The mobility-driven industries especially bear promising prospects for us. The medical engineering sector and the life science market are also particularly interesting for us. In general, our products are ideal for all applications where energy efficiency and product features such as stability and elasticity are important. In comparison to aluminium and stainless steel, CFRP offers a range of advantages. The sustainability aspect is also becoming more and more important.”
xperion entered the automotive industry around two years ago and is already working for renowned names such as AUDI und Daimler. Here, energy savings and lightweight constructions are key issues. “Currently, we are negotiating with BMW and all other OEMs,” says Dr. Kariger. “Many ideas and components from the aerospace industry can be transferred directly to the automotive industry, for example the cable harnesses. In the last few months, we have been enjoying double-digit growth, and we are close to achieving a breakthrough with CFRP. We use CCM processing – continuous compression moulding. The advantages of this process are the cost-efficient production, the excellent surface quality and firstclass consolidation quality.”
Founded in 2004, xperion originates from Airbus Operations. Today, the company is a mediumsized business with a staff of 170 and two production facilities. Dr. Kariger, who unites engineering and enonomic know-how, draws on over 20 years of experience in compound materials. He strongly believes that soon a new era will be heralded at xperion.
“Our vision is to generate triple-digit million revenues in a few years with our CFRP parts,” he says. “The market potential is almost unlimited. We are a high-tech company driven by innovation. Our engineering and development capacities are unique, and we draw on technological products which are state of the art. Our staff is qualified and well-experienced. At present, it is difficult for us to find qualified staff in order to release new capacities. To ensure an intergenerational transfer of know-how at xperion, we also offer apprenticeships for young people. Most of them stay with us. Our business is visionary, and it feels good to be active in a growth market and to contribute to technical progress.”