We met with Andrew in Rybinsk while learning the best practices engine-building plant “Saturn”, held in the framework of the educational program of track accelerator Aerospace GenerationS. Research and testing complex, full of all sorts of unique equipment. Machine tools for industrial 3D printing, experimental powders, new alloys, a test piece of different types of composites. Office of the General constructor uses it as a testing ground to try out new technologies and design solutions.
Among the companys competitors — such technology leaders as General Electric,
Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce, so you have to keep your finger on the pulse. In the laboratory setting Fighters feel like a fish in water, because he knows a lot of fiber. The company “Royal-like carbon” since 2013, making custom parts from polymeric composite materials. In 2015, the companys revenue amounted to 12 million rubles.
The story of our heroes also started with experiments. Andrey Boytsov and his partner in the shop Michael Khorobrykh for many years into sailing and one day decided to build his own yacht. At this point in the world started the boom for the elements and parts made of composites. The boom has led to the fact that in 2014, the global composite market was estimated at $ 25 billion (Lux Research). There was an interest from potential customers and prospects of development of this niche in Russia.
Had to postpone the dream of a light and maneuverable boat and can focus on your business. So a company “Royal-like carbon”, which manufactures products made of polymer composite materials “tailoring” for large customers, including the military industry. Andrey Boytsov first year in business. In 2000 he created in Samara is a company that dealt with legal and accounting services. It earned money became partners of seed capital.
Andrew has invested in a “Royal-like carbon” 2 million rubles of personal savings. Michael Khorobrykh began to study methods of manufacturing parts made of polymer composites during his studies in Samara state aerospace University. Graduates of SSAU Fighters and Khorobrykh has assembled a team that included design engineer, technologist and engineer-payroll officer. The University helped with the equipment, and in the end, the partners managed small starting investment.
“In the laboratory already had a vacuum installation for the development of the technology of making parts from carbon fiber. The main elements of the technological equipment was designed and made by own forces, thus significantly save your money. A complete set of laboratory equipment would have cost us not less than one hundred thousand euros, the plant is not less than a million Euro”, — says Mikhail. To get the detail of carbon fiber, you need to produce a matrix — form for casting, lay there twisted threads of carbon fibers (carbon), fill them with special resin and to conduct the heat treatment.
Due to the unique properties of guledani and epoxy resins is a material stronger than steel and half the weight of the lightweight metal alloy. The team Boytsov and Khorobrykh took over a year to make this process clear and predictable. To train in the laboratory, the partners entered the market. In 2013 they took part in the competition “Ideas in composite” which was “Winery” and HC “Composite”, and took second place.
For the competition, Andrew and Michael made of carbon fiber conference table the length of seven meters. Thanks to the victory happened to come into view of the first customers. The company “Rent” from Komi has ordered the development of basalt-plastic fuel tanks for off-road vehicles X-Pen. “Metal tanks could not withstand the temperature extremes in the far North and cracked.
They also quickly rusted, and composite materials to withstand such stress and corrosion,” notes Fighters. In 2014 the company “Bathyscaphe” ordered the lightweight and durable carbon fiber fins for spearfishing. In 2014 Krasnogorsky Zavod “Electrodvigatel” ordered the impeller from composite materials for their motors. “The impeller is a fan for cooling equipment.
The factory used a plastic impeller, but they dont bear the load and collapsed,” says Fighters. First clients has enabled the partners to reach operational payback. Providing a steady stream of orders, in early 2015 Fighters and Khorobrykh registered the company “Royal-like carbon” are now made carbon fins and pneumatic spear guns, fuel tanks, impellers, are developing large-diameter wheels fiberglass. In Russia, several dozens of companies working with carbon fiber.
The main difference between “Royal carbon” from the others in that it is primarily an engineering and design center, which is able to solve non-standard problems. “We have gained extensive experience. The manufacturing of fins, gear wheels, fuel tanks. We created the design and manufacture of low-noise impellers for electric motors,” says Michael. Consumables, resins and fabrics, are purchased in Russia or Europe.
“If the customer has to do with the military-industrial complex, then we have to use Russian raw materials, — says Andrey. — For “civil” products we buy German materials, they have more quality”. In developing the new product according to customer requirements “Royal-carbon” becomes the co-author of the product and the intellectual property is transferred to the client. “We do not hold on to intellectual property for products that we earn on our own knowhow, which is the basis of our work.
Says Fighters. — There are General rules for use and handling of carbon fiber, our contribution is the development speed of the matrix products and low resource consumption of that process. Up to half the cost of the product is the training and testing matrices, we were able to reduce this figure by half. Due to this our profit margin is about 50%”.
Boytsov plans to get into the registries procurement of large companies with state participation. Now the main demand for composite materials comes from the aviation industry, automotive industry, mechanical engineering, shipbuilding and construction. In the list of interesting clients of the company — “Almaz-Antey”, “Saturn”, Roscosmos and other. To get to NPO “Saturn” and to offer their services, of Fighters this year came in the track Aerospace accelerator GenerationS-2015, organized by RVC.
Saturn offered Boytsov DM to make carbon fiber one of the non-critical parts of aircraft engine. Polymer composites are stronger than metal, very light and does not corrode. One of the problems of aviation — weight loss. Using polymer composite materials, can significantly reduce the weight of the structure. “The saving of one kilogram in the engine saves three kilograms on the airplane.
This affects the fuel consumption, the required thrust, payload. Reducing the weight of aircraft kg reduces fuel consumption by up to 40 grams per hour. The engine can be done easily at 200-300 pounds, respectively, the whole plane was 600,” explains Andrew. He failed to pass the five winners of the Aerospace track, but dialogue with the client has developed. Now “Saturn” and “Royal carbon” discuss “control purchase”.
We have already started negotiations with “Royal-like carbon”, but too early to talk about cooperation. For a start they should do first pilot detail which will pass our trials, and to generate a price quotation. Their technology is not unique, but the team is strong and motivated on the result. If the cooperation goes, we are able to provide “Royal-carbon” industrial partner.
Us is beneficial to all around us formed a belt of adequate and reliable suppliers and small technology companies. The first thing we can do is to provide a test pad. This is very important, because the authors can Refine their decisions based on the experience of our technologists and designers. Second, we can start the purchase.
Then there are companies whose products pass our certification, they will be able to deliver it to us directly. Third, we will support these projects further, to develop the first prototypes, it is necessary to take technological risks. And, of course, we will assist with entry into different funds. In “SKOLKOVO” there is a system of grants that allows you to bring the project stages from development to implementation. In fact, a “Royal-like carbon” is an engineering project.
The team of Andrey Boytsov takes on already known techniques and materials and applies them in areas where they have never been used. But the transition from engineering to innovative production may occur at any time. Fighters — good entrepreneur. I can easily imagine his actions in a situation where to solve the next problem he will find on the market, for example, the desired resins.
Andrew will employ chemists and will be responsible for developing new resins. Then engineering business will turn into innovative. Andrew is a very hard working person. I sincerely wish him and his team success. “Royal carbon” already earning money on polymeric composites, so the demand is there and the business model is working.
This is certainly not an innovative business, but the guys have built a good engineering company and can act as a partner for innovative developers. If we talk about development, now Boytsov DM is very important to gain a foothold in the market until he entered the major players that a small company will sweep away and will not notice. You need to look for new niches and small “blue oceans”. It may make sense to do expensive, complex, individual product.
Fighters are very focused on the work, this is his biggest plus. Im sure he will succeed.