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Kraig Biocraft speeds up domestic production with new processing machine

This new equipment is being installed and is expected to be fully operational before the end of the month.

18th April 2017

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Ann Arbor, MI

Protective, Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial

This machine replaces a much smaller cocoon processing machine the company has been using to produce materials under a contract with the US Army. The increased capacity and efficiency this new equipment offers will free up production staff and lower overall costs, the company reports.

New equipment

Over the next month, the company plans to supply the Army with sample single filament Dragon Silk fibres for independent testing and to have the first batch of finished Dragon Silk thread ready for knitting into Ballistic shootpacks. The company anticipates completing the additional silk necessary for producing the woven shootpacks for the US Army in the third quarter. This newly installed equipment is expected to play an important role in meeting this new timeline, the manufacturer explains.

“In many cases, up until now, we’ve been working with research scale equipment as we transitioned out of the laboratory,” said COO Jon Rice.  “We had originally hoped to have completed all silk production for the first Army contact by now. That timeline, in consultation with our customer, has been extended due to challenges that a third-party vendor had in scheduling and processing, as well as the throughput limitations of our production facility in its first month of operations.”

“This new equipment can process more cocoons in one hour than we currently process in a month and it is expected to play an important role in meeting the new timeline. This new commercial scale machine is expected to sustain our domestic production capacity through 2019 and reduce labour costs significantly.”

Overseas production

In addition to its planned expansion of domestic production, the company is also working to establish a significant overseas production operation. It has recently been awarded an Investment Certificate for the production of high technology silk in Vietnam’s Quang Nam province.

This Investment Certificate award was the necessary and final step before the company seeks central government approval for the expansion of Kraig Labs’ business. The company’s efforts to secure that final approval are well underway, according to the manufacturer.

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