Check out this article about Court Construction in 2017 in the PDN!
On December 21st, Charlie Pugh (Sequim Picklers Club VP) met with Dave Walter (COO Composite Recycling Technology Center) at CRTC’s new production location in Port Angeles. This is the site where they are ramping up to produce their first product (Pickleball Paddle) from scrap carbon fiber composite that they receive from Boeing’s aircraft production line. Their new facility includes some impressive capabilities and more systems to automate their production are coming.
Charlie provided Dave a summary of the Sequim Picklers comments on the X4 AERO Paddle that the club tested during group play. Dave was very happy to receive the Sequim Picklers evaluations. The feedback was very timely as the CRTC is planning upgrades from feedback received into what will be the X5 (next prototype version). It should include many of the clubs suggestions. Dave Walter was so pleased with the comprehensive evaluations from a cross section of players that he would like to give the Sequim Picklers an early version of the X5 to provide some quick feedback to him. The Sequim Picklers are uniquely positioned to provide this non-profit company quick and comprehensive testing of their prototypes so that they can produce the best paddle possible.
Assisting the CRTC is in line with the mission of the Sequim Picklers. It improves the recycling posture of the planet, improves the pickleball paddle product that the CRTC will be making and allows the club the unique opportunity to directly contribute to the improvement of the next version. The CRTC is on track to sell their first publicly available paddle on Pickleball Central in the March 2017 time frame. If you participated in the original evaluations of the X4, Charlie will be seeking you out for similar reviews of the X5.
Here is a link to the King 5 piece that was on TV from a CRTC press conference in Seattle.
And another link to a news article posted on the CRTC website talking about the distribution agreement with Pickleball Central.
(From the December 2nd 2016 PDN)
Pickleball paddle unveiled as new composite center’s initial product
PORT ANGELES — Composite Recycling Technology Center officials announced Thursday that the center’s first product will be the world’s first recycled aerospace-quality carbon fiber pickleball paddle.
The paddle will be distributed exclusively through Pickleball Central of Kent, which Dave Walter, CRTC’s chief operations officer, said is the largest pickleball distributor in the world.
“This is the most premium material ever applied to a pickleball paddle,” said Bob Larsen, CEO of CRTC in Port Angeles, at an event with Jay Williams, U.S. assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
The CRTC expects the paddles to be available online in March. The first shipment to Pickleball Central is expected to be at the end of February.
The paddles, which will sell for $99, are the first product in the world to be made from recycled aerospace-quality carbon fiber.
Prototypes have been out in the field, Larsen said.
Carbon fiber is many times stronger than steel and weighs less than half the weight of aluminum, but it was considered worthless and so 29 million pounds of the material ends up in landfills every year, Larsen said.
“Making pickleball paddles out of carbon fiber composite isn’t new — but making them out of scrap carbon fiber composite is groundbreaking,” he said.
“But today, CRTC is proving to the world that recycling it doesn’t just make good environmental sense; it makes good business sense.”
The Port of Port Angeles led the effort for the facility, which opened at 2138 W. 18th St. in September.
Supporters say the facility will bring 200 new jobs to Port Angeles over the next six years.
The game of pickleball was invented on Bainbridge Island in 1965 and is now the fastest-growing sport in North America, with about 3 million players globally, Larsen said.
Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court with the net lowered to 34 inches at the center. It uses a perforated plastic ball similar to a whiffle ball and composite or wooden paddles about twice the size of pingpong paddles.
Williams announced a $500,000 i6 Challenge grant for CRTC as part of the Regional Innovation Strategies program.
“The Port Angeles Composite Recycling Technology Center is revolutionizing advanced manufacturing while creating jobs locally,” said Williams in a news release.
“As America’s Innovation Agency, the U.S. Department of Commerce plays a key role in supporting the entrepreneurs and job creators of tomorrow.”
The Washington State Clean Energy Fund also has invested $2.7 million in the CRTC’s work to develop and manufacture clean technology products and reduce waste from composite manufacturing, Larsen said.
The paddle is the first of many products to come, Larsen said. CRTC officials have told the Port of Port Angeles it would be self-sufficient by the end of 2017, he said.
“It’s really important to realize this is the beginning of our vision of launching a new industry based on recycling scrap carbon fiber,” he said.
“For the longest time, the conventional wisdom was this material had no value.”
Larsen said CRTC hopes to announce several more products by the end of 2017.