North Sails has ceased production of laminated sails reliant on mylar and has committed to spread filament, prepreg, 3D composite structures, introducing 3Di NORDAC for smaller cruising boats and 3Di RAW 760S for smaller race boats. It has also converted its manufacturing facilities in Minden, Nevada, US and Sri Lanka to increase production capacity.
“The expansion of the Sri Lanka factory is in response to the successful launch of 3Di RAW 760S sails for smaller race boats and 3Di NORDAC for smaller cruising boats,” North Sails CEO Dan Neri stated. “3Di sails continue to meet the requirements of sailors in all classes from the 18ft Skiffs in Australia to the 100ft Ultime fleet in France.”
As of September 2017, the last 3DL production line was shut down. North Sails now has identical prepreg converting lines in both the Minden and Sri Lanka factories running 14 shifts per week, with seven Automated Tape Laying (ATL) lines running 24/7 in Minden and five lines running 24/7 in Sri Lanka.
The prepreg converting and ATL lines feed a combined eight gantries and 10 full scale, adjustable 3D moulds. North Sails’ facility in Sri Lanka focuses on building 3Di sails for boats up to 50ft, while Minden specialises in grand prix and superyacht sails.
3D Minden is the flagship centre for materials research, engineering and manufacturing of 3D products which are unique to North Sails.