Premium AEROTEC (Augsburg, Germany), a major supplier of parts and structures for the composites-intensive Airbus A350 XWB, has taken delivery of a large autoclave, 25m/82 ft long long and 8m/26.2 ft in diameter. Premium AEROTEC is the world’s largest supplier of fuselage structures for the A350 XWB.Total investment at Premium AEROTEC for this future generation of aircraft amounts to about €360 million.
The autoclave will be used to cure carbon fiber composite structures for the A350 XWB fuselage. Temperature capability of the autoclave is 180°C/356°F. The autoclave, with a transport weight of 260 tonnes, was manufactured in South Korea specially for Premium AEROTEC. It was lifted off of a river barge by Europe’s largest mobile crane in Lauffen am Neckar, Germany, where it began its final route by road to Augsburg. The manufacturing cost of the autoclave is about €6.5 million.
“The arrival of the autoclave in Augsburg is another milestone in Premium AEROTEC’s preparations for production of the new A350 XWB. The skills and expertise gained in this trendsetting CFC technology are also a visible proof of our outstandingly trained and highly motivated workforce,” said Peter Schwarz, head of Augsburg plant.
Hans Lonsinger, president and CEO of Premium AEROTEC, added, “Through our investment in new, innovative technologies here in Augsburg and at our other locations in Nordenham, Bremen and Varel, we are ideally equipped to secure our global competitiveness and growth over the long term and to further expand on that basis.”
A production hall with a floor area of 25,000m²/270,000 ft² is being built in Augsburg. The production hall is initially being built for the manufacture of the large-dimension side shells of the rear fuselage section (sections 16-18) for the A350 XWB. The new autoclave will also be installed in this new production hall. Once it has been set up and the installation phase is completed, the autoclave is scheduled to run through its first cure cycle in mid-2010, and then be available for the start of series production. A fiber-placement machine for producing the carbon fiber composite (CFC) side shells of the new A350 XWB has already been installed.
In parallel with construction of the hall in Augsburg, building of the production hall for the forward fuselage section (sections 13/14) of the A350 XWB at the Nordenham site is also well along.