Fokker Technologies (Papendrecht, The Netherlands) and the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) have unveiled a new manufacturing plant for composite aircraft components in Marknesse, Netherlands. Calling it the Automated Composite Manufacturing (ACM) pilot plant, it will produce composite landing gear components while also developing new manufacturing techniques for high performance composites, according to a news release. The ACM pilot plant is not just reserved for aerospace, however, as other companies that develop composites can also use the facility for testing materials and automating production processes.
The ACM pilot plant, which sits at more than 5,000 square feet (500 square meters), will start with advancing the “robotification” for the production of composite landing gear components. In addition, the plant will focus on producing composites reinforced with industrial resin as the plant features modern equipment, including one of the largest robotic fiber-reinforced composites machines in Europe.
This new facility derives from a public-private partnership between Fokker Landing Gear and the NLR, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the province of Flevoland and the Noordoostpolder municipality.
“This automated pilot plant works on state-of-the art production processes," said Frank Mulders, managing director of Fokker. "For Fokker, as a supplier to the global aviation industry, and also for other Dutch companies, this is an important step on the way to the sustainable production of composite components in the in the Netherlands."
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The project’s goal is to reduce product development and certification timelines by 30 percent for composite aircraft.