Fiberforge wins contract to produce 20,000 backpack frames for military customer

Jun 30 2008

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO—June 30, 2008 – Fiberforge Corporation announced today that it has started mass production of a new military backpack frame sheet for Mystery Ranch, LLC. Mystery Ranch is a leading producer of high performance survival packs, assault packs and ultra-light packs used by military and law enforcement agencies worldwide.

Prior to using Fiberforge, Mystery Ranch was fabricating the frame sheet from polyethylene plastic, fabric and aluminum. The polyethylene provided structure and flexibility, while the aluminum ‘stays’, which were inserted into fabric sleeves, provided stiffness. The part, while functional, was heavy and was labor intensive to produce. The Fiberforge part, made with unidirectional glass fiber-reinforced thermoplastic, is 43% lighter that the part it replaced, and is made as a single stamped part with ribs formed into it for stiffness. Fiberforge produces the part in just 70 seconds; versus the 10-12 minute production time, it took Mystery Ranch to make the original frame sheet.

Dana Gleason, founder and president of Mystery Ranch, says, “We are extremely happy with the Fiberforge parts. Not only are they significantly lighter weight and more functional for our customers, but they are actually more cost competitive and have saved us significant labor expense.”

Fiberforge is producing the frame adjusters out of Glass/PET-PU (Polyethylene Terephthalate blended with Polyurethane) in 70 seconds per part. Mystery Ranch originally ordered 10,000 parts; but, the backpack frame adjusters have been so well received in the market place that they have increased their order to over 20,000 units and are using them in more of their pack models.

“The Mystery Ranch backpack frame adjusters represent a very practical use of advanced thermoplastic composites,” says Tina Ogburn, Operations Manager of Fiberforge Corporation. “We are excited to be in full production and to be able to offer all the benefits of the Fiberforge technology to Mystery Ranch.”

Mystery Ranch, headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, has been designing backpacks for over 35 years for military and law enforcement agencies worldwide. Mystery Ranch is dedicated to making the highest quality, most durable backpacks in the world.

Fiberforge is a technology company commercializing breakthrough-manufacturing methods for the production of lightweight advanced thermoplastic composite parts at lower cost and in high volumes. Fiberforge’s proprietary Relay Station—protected with multiple patents and trade secrets—produces parts with high fiber alignment, high fiber fraction, and long fiber length at high speed with minimal scrap. Fiberforge’s technology and its tailored blanks are protected by US patents #6,607,626, 6,939,423 and 7,235,149.

The projections and forward-looking statements in this release are based on best practice analysis and research from independent advisors to Fiberforge. The conclusions drawn, while the result of the best efforts of the staff of Fiberforge, are in no way a promise of delivery, and can, and will, be changed according to future input. For further information, please contact Susan Goldberg, 970-945-9377, sgoldberg@fiberforge.com

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