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Composites: MAG Cincinnati lands Airbus deal

Airbus has ordered six fiber-placement systems (FPS) from MAG Cincinnati for automated fabrication of composite fuselage panels for the upcoming A350 XWB. The Viper FPS come from the 6000 series, MAG Cincinnati's largest, and can produce fuselage panels up to 6.3m (20.7 ft) in diameter. The Viper systems will be installed at Airbus plants in France, Germany, and Spain, with equipment standardization promoting production efficiencies. The machines will produce 92% of the A350 XWB’s fuselage, in an aircraft that will feature more than 50% composite construction by weight.


MAG Cincinnati said the units features new head technology, which reportedly allows the industry’s highest kg/hr lay-up productivity due to independent control over feed, clamp, cut, and startup for up to 32 individual tows or slit tape.


Airbus and European partners had previously purchased 14 MAG Cincinnati composite systems, including four Viper FPS and 10 automated tape layers (ATL), to produce parts for A320, A330, A340, A380 and A400M aircraft. The Charger ATLs undertake automated lay-up of graphite/epoxy tape material. The fifth-generation head is said to outstrip industry benchmarks in productivity. Separate ATL models are available for automated lay-up of contoured (up to 25°deg) and flat shapes, as well as long, narrow, structural parts.
 

TAGS: Materials
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