Quickstep's patented RST technology – which was developed in Australia and partly funded by a $2.5 million AusIndustry Climate Ready grant from the Federal Government – fully automates the process of manufacturing lightweight carbonfibre composite car panels.
Quickstep managing director Philippe Odouard explained RST allowed panels to be made in minutes at a significantly lower cost than other methods, and enabled car parts to be mass-produced with a high-quality finish directly off the mould.
“In the emerging emission-legislated world, every leading car manufacturer is aiming to develop cars that are lighter, more affordable and consume less fuel,” Odouard said.
“We are delighted to have demonstrated RST’s technical success by repeatedly manufacturing carbonfibre composite panels with our pioneering automatic plant in Sydney. It delivers car parts with a ‘Class A’ surface finish without the need for the ‘re-work’ that is commonly required with the manufacture of carbonfibre automotive panels.”
Quickstep plans to both manufacturer exterior parts and licence the technology for car makers to produce the carbonfibre panels themselves.
Odouard explained the company is in discussions with several leading global automotive manufacturers interested in manufacturing panels using RST technology under licence, and is pursuing large-volume production tests in cooperation with industrial partners in Germany, including Audi.
“We have delivered carbonfibre test panels to several car makers to demonstrate the RST technology’s value,” he said.
“The price competitiveness of RST compared to other technologies is attracting attention, and has led to requests for quotes.
“We expect to manufacture parts in small quantities within the next few months and to increase to larger quantities shortly thereafter.”
Innovation minister Kim Carr was on hand at this morning’s announcement at the company’s manufacturing facility at Bankstown Airport. Quickstep is a manufacturer of carbonfibre composites for the aerospace, defence and automotive industries, with offices in Germany and the US.