Delastek Inc. (Grand-Mère, Quebec, Canada), a specialist in the manufacture of composite structural aircraft and helicopter parts, reports that it has realized a 5 percent reduction in composite material cost since installing a Virtek Vision International (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) LaserEdge laser templating system and GERBERcutter DCS2500 computer-controlled composite cutting system from Gerber (Tolland, Conn., USA). Delastek manufactures the integrated internal cockpit for Quebec-based Bombardier Aerospace’s CSeries medium-range jet airliners.
Claude Lessard, president of Delastek, says, “We have invested heavily in systems which are compatible with that of Bombardier, because we must work together on the aircraft’s electronic model.”
Delastek’s project manager, Mathieu Doucet, says, “Automation has enabled us to significantly reduce our material expenses and ensure our product quality so we provide the highest components to our customers at a competitive price. These technologies are a central part of our plan to both increase our composite manufacturing capacity and expand our capabilities. The Gerber and Virtek teams brought us a suite of technology solutions that we couldn’t find from any other single supplier in the market.”
The GERBERcutter DCS2500 system is a high-speed, static cutting system designed to cut single to low plies of composite materials with precision. It cuts to tolerances within millimeters at speeds up to 1.1 m/sec. It also is said to maximize material utilization by eliminating the buffer between parts required when cutting manually.
The Virtek LaserEdge system is a 3-D laser templating and positioning system that eliminates the need for physical templates, reduces costly rejects and saves set-up time. It projects a laser template onto molds to guide operators through the ply layup process.
Todd Rhodes, president of Virtek, says, “Delastek is the epitome of how a small- to medium-size company can employ advanced technology to enable them to provide the highest quality products to some of the world’s biggest aerospace companies. We are proud to be their partner and provide them with a suite of solutions to address their automation needs.”
Founded in 1984, Delastek is an AS9100-certified company that operates in two facilities in Quebec. The company specializes in the development and assembly of value-added composite products and electromechanical and electronic parts for the aerospace and transportation sectors.