About every 3-4 months, we need to slit carbon fiber in order to make our ski poles. This is an exciting process, as we get to use one of our most specialized pieces of machinery. We call this machine Murphy B, after the city in which it was purchased (Murfreesboro, TN). Murphy B is a custom-built slitter that has interchangeable blade systems to cut our carbon fiber at very specific widths. Here you can see some photos and descriptions of our slitting process. This is one of the very first steps in making ski poles.
Empty reels prepped, assembled onto Murphy B, and ready for carbon.
Our team making sure the carbon is thawed out (it is kept frozen!) and getting ready to load onto the machine.
Andy and David loading the carbon reel into the slitter.
Andy making sure that the carbon is properly aligned and air bags are full. The air bags help the carbon stay in place and the slitter is being ran.
Some of the empty reels that we load the carbon onto after being slit.
Andy and David feeding the carbon through by hand before turning the machine on.
Bill, a civilian who was job shadowing us this day, helping us cut the tape that will secure the carbon onto the reel.
This is Honey Bee, our mascot. He was keeping a close eye on us as we slit the carbon :).
Close up of the machine as Andy is tweaking the settings.
David preparing the reels.
Bill, David and Heather are securing the carbon onto the reels.
Carbon fiber is secured onto the reels, and Andy is getting ready to push the big green start button!
Murphy B is ready to roll!
Action shot of Murphy B slitting carbon.
Top view of the slitter in action. Here you can see the full sized carbon entering on the right hand side, being slit in the middle, and then exiting on the left and rolling onto our reels.
So, there you have it! That is how we load and run our slitter. After the entire roll is slit, we taped the ends down, bagged the reels up into special moisture-proof bags, and we popped them back into the freezer, where they await to be used on ski poles!