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Bombardier's Short Brothers plc enhances productivity of CHARGER composite tape layer with updates to control, software and mechanicals

Short Brothers plc, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bombardier, Inc. known as the first aircraft manufacturer in the world, has ordered an upgrade of its MAG-built CHARGER composite tape laying system, encompassing control hardware, software and mechanicals. MAG will install the new technology at the company's Belfast plant beginning in late July, taking the control system from Version 1 to Version 2, and updating mechanical components to reduce changeover time by 50 percent or more when switching between 6-inch and 12-inch tape widths. The machine is currently being used to produce horizontal stabilizer skins for the Global Express business jet.            

"In a field that evolves as rapidly as composites production, an upgrade path for older machinery becomes as important as new-machine technology content," said Randy Kappesser, MAG Vice President and General Manager for composites. "We continuously invest a significant percentage of our sales to research, develop and maintain upgrade paths for all of our composites machinery dating back to the first units built in 1983. This allows us to bring systems such as this eight-year-old machine forward to today's capabilities, or even re-purpose the machine with a new gantry and longer rail lengths. This upgrade will enhance the machine's capabilities as a tape layer, and has the potential to cut cycle times 10-15 percent."            

MAG developed the original automation technology for laying aerospace composite tape and fiber, and currently has the largest global installed base of machines – approximately 120 – with 47 of them in Europe and Asia. Its CHARGER Tape Layer is the most widely used tape layer in the world, already producing components for Airbus's A380, the world's largest commercial jet, and Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. MAG also has 12 facilities and more than 2000 employees in Europe as well, providing development, manufacturing and service resources. Expanding its technology portfolio in composites, MAG recently introduced an automated system for producing wind turbine blades that will dramatically reduce manufacturing times, while significantly increasing quality and longevity of the blades.

Press release issued by Fives Machining Systems, Inc. on July 28, 2009


 Contact details from our directory:
Bombardier Aerospace - Belfast Nacelles, Wing Spoilers, Wing Flaps, Aircraft Structural Components, Fuselage Sections, Wings, Empennages, Fairings, Composite Manufacturing Supplies
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


 Related aircraft programs:
Bombardier Global series


 Related directory sectors:
Production Equipment
Airframe Assemblies

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