Luca Businaro, CEO, Novation Tech

JEC Composite Magazine spoke with Luca Businaro, president and CEO of Novation Tech since 2007.

Luca Businaro, CEO, Novation Tech

3 minutes, 40 secondes

Luca Businaro, president and CEO of Novation Tech since 2007, is the president of Assosport, the Italian sporting goods industry association, and the first Italian president of FESI, the Federation of the European Sporting Goods Industry. He has been a Confindustria national arbitrator since June 2019 and he was appointed president of Certottica, the Italian institute for optical products certification, in 2022.

JEC Composites Magazine : What are the leading sectors for your company?
Luca Businaro, CEO, Novation Tech : We developed technologies and expertise in a number of different sectors where industrial production and high-quality carbon fibre and composite materials are required, such as the automotive, aerospace, and sports and leisure industries. The automotive industry is undoubtedly our reference market and we have been supplying most major car manufacturers since 2007. We produce seats, interior parts, structural components and body parts.

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JEC Composites Magazine : Can you tell us about the technologies you have developed for the space sector?
Luca Businaro : In 2017, we patented a new manufacturing process for composites production and we applied it to airliner seats, which we have been producing in one of our factories ever since. Lightness has always been a key issue in the aeronautical sector. Our innovation enabled us to industrialize a technologically advanced and therefore economically sustainable process. We patented a new compression moulding process using vacuum and metal inserts in order to be able to combine autoclaving and compression moulding in the same process. We use carbon fibre as well as metal inserts.

JEC Composites Magazine : Do you have ongoing research projects for new production technologies?
Luca Businaro : In addition to various undisclosed trials with customers, we are currently focusing on how to integrate 3D printing technologies in our production (we inaugurated a new 3D farm last year) as well as a fully-additive manufacturing approach. We can print using different types of plastics, carbon-reinforced materials as well as epoxy resin, and we can directly handle the correct assembly of these components. Moreover, the new Massivit 10000 for the additive printing of moulds (we have the first one in Europe) has created a series of opportunities for us and our customers to provide faster services and prototyping activities.

The new Massivit 10000 enables automated production of moulds and tooling for composite manufacturing,
with a print volume of 1.42 x 1.11 x 1.5 m.

The Massivit 10000 creates a type of empty “shell” in a special water-breakable gel, inside which a thermosetting epoxy resin is poured. The resulting shell is then immersed in water, where it crumbles, leaving a mould that therefore does not present the structural criticalities of traditional 3D printing (due to the lack of molecular bonds between the layers). The system is designed to overcome manufacturing bottlenecks in carbon fibre production by enabling direct printing of custom moulds, master tools, mandrels, jigs, and fixtures. This technology reduces the production time for a mould by 80% and the corresponding manual labour by 90%.

JEC Composites Magazine : What do you think of bio-based advanced composite materials?
Luca Businaro : These materials will play an important role in our industry. We are already producing components using bio-based composite materials and we are trying to test how advanced bio-based composite materials will react to production processes and what are the effects on their mechanical performance. We are currently producing a component using a flax composite material for aesthetical results but also structural components for the automotive and sports sectors.

SandRob is a robotic solution for surface finishing processes: sanding, polishing, trimming of complex shapes of any scale or size.

JEC Composites Magazine : Do you have plans for recycling carbon composites?
Luca Businaro : Yes, we have been working on it for some time, especially for “non-aesthetic” components. We are currently producing several recycled carbon fibre components for our customers and we foresee a continuous improvement of these materials in our future developments. On the other hand, some products need to comply with specific mechanical standards that are currently difficult to meet with existing recycled raw materials. This is one of the reasons why we are trying to reduce our environmental impact by looking not only at the raw material but at the entire production process. Since 2022, we have been using a concrete sustainability process to drastically reduce our carbon impact in everything we do. For example, through the reuse of cutting scrap and the use of recycled carbon dry materials from scrap components.

JEC Composites Magazine : How do you see the future?
Luca Businaro : The future will be based on faster and faster processes and the robotization of several production steps to increase volumes and mass production. Bio-based and recycled materials will be part of any new development, as well as a sustainability approach to reduce the carbon footprint of production and logistics.

The market will see companies merge to create bigger players to support product development and market growth. Carbon fibre and composite materials will become a real commodity for every market looking for lighter products.

More information www.novationtech.com