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MAG shares in ManTech award for F-35 cost reductions

MAG IAS, LLC has been recognized by the Department of Defense with a Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Achievement award for its contributions to a team that developed improved composites processing technology for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, resulting in estimated cost reductions of $100 million. Presented at the Defense Manufacturing Conference in November, the award to Lockheed Martin Aerospace, Hitco Carbon Composites, Cytec Engineered Materials and MAG cited the team for its development of a new method for optimizing the automated fiber placement (AFP) of bismaleimide (BMI) composite material in the manufacture of wing skins and nacelles. Working with the South Carolina Research Authority's (SCRA) Applied R&D division, the team developed methodologies that increased lay-down rates of BMI by 47 percent for JSF wing skins and 62 percent for the aircraft's nacelles. Process modifications included the installation of infrared heating technology and use of advanced materials for components to reduce friction.

Recognized at the Defense Manufacturing Conference were Ralph Rust, MAG Senior Project Engineer; Jim Watkins, MAG Project and Proposal Engineer and Michael Noel, MAG Product Manager, Composites. The award was presented by Brett Lambert, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy. Danna Kelley, Program Manager for SCRA, accepted the award on behalf of the team. SCRA Applied R&D supports efforts to identify, develop and deploy advanced manufacturing technologies that increase productivity and reduce costs.

The F-35 JSF uses carbon fiber BMI composites to reduce weight and improve operational performance. The team designed experiments that identified material, environmental and machine interactions and their effects on process parameters. Knowledge gained in the studies helped increase the lay-down rates, so fabrication schedules can be compressed and investment in capital equipment reduced for all three versions of the JSF aircraft (CV, STOVL and CTOL). The Navy ManTech program funded the program.

According to the Department of Defense, the ManTech program is the Department's investment mechanism for staying at the forefront of defense-essential manufacturing capability. "This award exemplifies MAG's dedication to, and expertise in, improving manufacturing equipment and processes," said Randy Kappesser, Vice President of Composite Technologies at MAG. "Our cryogenic machining technology has also been deemed a cost-reducer on the titanium cutting side of the F-35 project, and we'll introduce new cryogenic technology for composites cutting early next year."

Press release issued by Fives Machining Systems, Inc. on December 16, 2011

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Fives Machining Systems, Inc. Composite Manufacturing Supplies, Boring Equipment, Lathes, Machining Systems, Cutting Equipment, Cutting Tools, Composite Tape Lay-down, Grinding, Laminating Equipment, Gantries, Drilling Equipment, Routing, Milling, Numeric Control Equipment, Materials Handling Equipment, Systems Integration
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Airframer
Avcorp Composite Fabrication Fairings, Composite Manufacturing Services, Subcontracted Composite Parts, Wings
Solvay Tempe (Cytec) Ablative Materials, Adhesives, Carbon-reinforced Composites, Silicone Sealants, Thermoplastics, Potting Compounds, Fibres, Resins, Self-Adhering Films, Prepreg, Epoxy Resins

 

 Related aircraft programs:
Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

 

 Related directory sectors:
Production Equipment
Machining
Composites

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