Cobham Composite Products (San Diego, Calif., USA) is celebrating 22 years of producing and delivering composite components for the U.S. Army's JAVELIN Missile Program.
Cobham, on the Javelin Joint Venture team, provide the warfighter with the only man-portable, true fire-and-forget air-to-ground-missile (ATGM) that is battle proven. Cobham began working on the development process to produce compression-molded parts for the JAVELIN missile system in 1989. The goal was to perfect the production process and plan for the right tooling component to produce parts in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way possible.
The first delivery was made approximately three years later in 1992, since then Cobham has shipped more than 200,000 JAVELIN components with sales reaching an estimate of $50 million over the life of the program. Dan Stevenson, program manager for the JAVELIN Missile Program at Cobham, states that the program is currently shipping about 320 units per month and expects additional sales of $3.5 million by 2015.
Presently the program holds 2,900 ft2/269m2 of manufacturing space and is composed of five full-time technicians and two machinists, in addition to a program manager, planner, supervisor, engineers and quality personnel working on the program.
At the inception of the program, Cobham developed composite components to replace aluminium baseline components to reduce weight and cost. Cobham developed and qualified the compression molding process, tooling and production line to meet high tolerance, quality standard and delivery requirements including sustained production of up to 125 parts per day. Cobham says it has delivered more than 200,000 parts on time, with a current production rate of 400 parts per month. Cobham produces four compression-molded parts for the JAVELIN missile system: Mid-body Housing, Guidance Electronic Unit, Control Actuator Housing and Launch Tube Aft Bearing Ring.
In other Cobham news, the company reports that it has received NADCAP accreditation. Nadcap (formerly, the National Aerospace and Defence Contractors Accreditation Program) is a global cooperative accreditation program for aerospace engineering, defense and related industries. Cobham Composite Products has been granted Nadcap accreditation for the following special processes in the aerospace and defense industry:
- CMP – Compression Molding
- LRP – Liquid Resin Processing
- MB – Metal Bond
- PAR – Prepreg/Adhesive Bonding/Resin Film Infusion
Michael Louderback, general manager of Cobham Composite Products, says,"NADCAP accreditation is a clear demonstration to both our customers and our industry that we're committed to providing quality composite fabrication services to the aerospace marketplace. This accomplishment shows our customers, employees, and certifying bodies that CCP possesses a high degree of technical competence within its organization."
Raymond Ringleb, director of sales and marketing, says, “Receiving our NADCAP accreditation is an important milestone for Cobham Composites Products. NADCAP, along with our ISO 9001 and AS9100 certifications, provides a significant pre-qualification status to attract and retain customers in the aerospace and defense sectors.”
Charles Clinton, director of quality assurance, says, “I want to congratulate and recognize the entire Cobham Composites Products team who has worked diligently across all departments to further our commitment to aerospace advanced composite manufacturing excellence by achieving NADCAP accreditation.”
Editor PickCompression molding: New materials and markets
From multifunctional aircraft interiors to compounds using continuous fabrics to the growing use of recycled carbon fiber – compression molding offers new opportunities.