First Fuselage Sections To Be Cured Early In 2010
Premium Aerotec in Nordenham took delivery Monday of the 84
foot long, 24 foot high autoclave to be used for
production of the forward fuselage sections for the new Airbus A350
XWB. It will be installed in the A350 facility currently
under construction, and the autoclave's first cure cycle is
planned for early 2010. It is expected to be fully operational for
production beginning in the spring of next year. Premium Aerotec is
the largest aerostrucures supplier for the new Airbus A350 XWB. The
company plans to invest some $515 million between 2009 and 2011 for
the production infrastructures of this new aircraft.
Beginning in 2010, the two side shells and the upper and lower
shells will be manufactured in Nordenham for each forward fuselage
section (section 13/14) of the new A350 family. These shells will
then be integrated into complete fuselage sections, including
floor beams, also at Nordenham. The production of the highly
complex light-weight fuselage demands state-of-the-art
CFRP-technologies, both for the production of the carbon fiber
reinforced skin using a fiber placement system as well as for
curing in an autoclave.
The new fiber placement machine is expected to be set up in the
first quarter of 2010. Another fiber placement system is already
available at the Nordenham plant, and was used to produce the
demonstrator fuselage shells for the Airbus A350 XWB. The new
machines will be installed in the new, nearly 90 thousand square
foot A350 production facility at Premium Aerotec's Nordenham
Plant manager Helmut Farber is delighted with the arrival of the
autoclave: "Today, we are Number One in the production of metal
shells for Airbus. With the investment to be effected here in
Nordenham over the next two years we are doing our utmost to attain
a similar position in the area of carbon fiber production as well.
The arrival of the autoclave is an important milestone in achieving
this. And at the same time we rely not only in technology but first
and foremost in our highly skilled and motivated workforce."
Airbus A350 Artist's Concept
Dieter Meiners, COO of Premium Aerotec, underlines: "This day
sets the tone for our investment in the future, for our trust in
our employees and for our goal of securing and strengthening our
leading position in the aerostrucures business."
When the new autoclave, referred to as "The Colussus", is
moved into the facility, it will have to be slowly
maneuvered to the new location on a route that takes its size into
account, from the Rhenus Midgard pier on the Weser across the
entire length of the factory site and will reach its destination.
After that, the work of assembling and installing the autoclave
will continue until December.