AIC Group (Poole, Dorset, UK) has won a contract to manufacture a hot drape former for a major European aerospace company. The dimensions of the made-to-measure system will be 2m by 7m and it will be used to make a wing spar.
AIC’s hot drape forming technology allows laminates of more than 20 mm thickness to be formed to precise dimensions at up to 18m in length. AIC’s PLC-based hot drape former control system monitors every aspect of forming many times per second and automatically makes minute profile adjustments to achieve forming accuracy. Accurate positioning of the lamp bank level of control is said to exceed that of competitive systems; this means AIC's system can control each individual lamp, whereas other hot drape formers reportedly can only control them in sections.