Innovation

Innovative Tools

Encouraging a Culture of Innovation

Innovation at Cascade Engineering means being curious, daring, and questioning the status quo.

Innovation means knowing something works, but being determined to make it better. It’s looking past limits and common perceptions. It’s having the courage to act on unusual ideas—especially ones that make the world better. Whether it’s a new method, technology, or product, innovation is at the heart of everything we do.

Fluid Connectors

Cascade Engineering Europe is working with Cascade Engineering Automotive Americas (CEAA) to transfer their fluid connector manufacturing expertise to Grand Rapids, MI.  As the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) grow, the need for highly precise fluid connectors grows along with it.  Our Grand Rapids based fluid connector production facility will be positioned uniquely to serve NA based tier one suppliers of automotive & heavy truck cooling systems.  Using an existing facility on our Grand Rapids main campus, CEAA plans to manufacture these products as a tier 2 supplier by CY2022 for production on the BMW G09 program.

Battery Enclosures

The growth of electric and hybrid vehicles in the transportation market offers exciting experiences for consumers, but also demands innovative solutions for new technology applications.  Cascade Engineering is collaborating with partners on a global scale to develop light weight, cost competitive solutions for battery components for a variety of electric vehicle markets.  We offer solutions in part consolidation, fluid management, and weight reduction for products ranging from battery components to large structural enclosures. 

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is growing in popularity within the Automotive market because it is strong, lightweight and looks great on vehicles. With our customers interest in light weighting as they engineer for higher mpg and longer EV battery life, without sacrificing impact or crashworthiness, carbon fiber presents a great option. As carbon fiber materials continue to develop and their usage grows within the automotive industry, Cascade Engineering’s Mount Airy, NC facility will grow and develop alongside them.  These carbon fiber supports and exterior trim panels require unique finishing capabilities to show off their characteristic appearance.  Mount Airy successfully applies clear coat and similar finishes to Corvette parts made with carbon fiber and intends to automate and expand the existing finishing processes to keep up with growing demand.

In-Mold Coating

Providing an exterior coating for large tonnage injection molding applications, this process eliminates the need for secondary coating operations. This reduces handling and inventory, therefore reducing manufacturing costs. A primer provides enhanced adhesion, elimination of surface contamination, and superior surface quality. In line with our environmental mission, the technology is thermoset formulation that is recyclable and has zero VOCs.

UBQ

Reducing the carbon footprint of our materials and processes is an important responsibility for building a sustainable future.  In cooperation with UBQ Corporation, Cascade Engineering is integrating household waste, diverted from landfills into usable material, into the products we manufacture.  Eliminating waste from the landfill reduces the amount of methane gas in the environment, and when used within our products, results in a climate positive product. As the worldwide need for plastics continues to grow, the planets need for climate positive solutions grows as well.

Eco Cart

Once China implemented the Green Fence and closed their borders to US recyclables Cascade Engineering partnered with Waste Management and The Recycling Partnership to design a solution to the problem of recycled plastics not having a home. We created pull in the US supply chain model by collecting mixed bulky rigid plastic from residential curbside recycling programs, sorted at the WM MRF, KW Plastics processed it and then Cascade Engineering reintroduced it into manufacturing and made new carts. Collectively we saved the recycled plastic from landfill and upcycled it into brand new product of high value.

Lightweighting

When weight reduction is key, we lend our expertise in metal-to-plastic conversion. A strategic combination of material selection, part design, feature integration, and finishing enables a successful transition from metal to plastic, reducing a part’s weight and material.

Variable Mass Acoustics

Creating maximum acoustic performance with the lowest possible mass, we can reduce noise, vibration, and harshness with a combination of injection molding and specialty fibers. We can also integrate features such as molded-in hinges.

Sustainable Pallets

Fully recyclable and designed with Design for Environment (DFE) principles, the Decade's RACX® Pallet is fabricated of 100% recycled HDPE plastic and combines strength and economy in a lightweight, one-piece design. With an evenly distributed load, the pallet offers unsupported rack capacities up to 2,200 lbs.

Smart Products

Intelligence now comes encapsulated in plastic. Our RFID tags are shining examples of what happens when materials and technology are integrated as one. Today, this innovation can track resources in virtually any environment. Into the future, we expect to find new and innovative uses based on our ideas and the needs of the companies we work with.

Solar Racking


As the need for solar panels increased, so did the need for sustainable racking systems—so we designed one of the first made of injection-molded plastic. Rugged, weather-resistant, and effortless to install, our solar photovoltaic (PV) roof racking system minimizes material usage and cuts balance of system (BOS) costs by an estimated 25%.

Technology


Integrating plastic with technology can solve problems and make business a whole lot easier. Our most successful application to date is Cart Logic—a web service and mobile app designed for the waste and recycling industry. As we progress into the future, the implementation of technology is an area we plan on pursuing more and more.

Composite Concept Vehicle

In the spirit of pushing beyond normal limits, we partnered with Chrysler to manufacture one of the first cars with an all-plastic body. Manufactured mostly from thermoplastic, the concept delivered on a vision for a car that was more affordable, fuel-efficient, and designed for developing nations.

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