Quickstep Opens Munich Site, Gets U.S. #X91;Melding#X92; Patent

Quickstep Holdings Ltd. (North Coogee, Australia) has opened a new testing and manufacturing facility in Munich, Germany. The facility will be operated by Quickstep GmbH and will be used to conduct manufacturing trials and development work for European aerospace groups, including Eurocopter (Donauwörth, Germany) and

Related Suppliers

Quickstep Holdings Ltd. (North Coogee, Australia) has opened a new testing and manufacturing facility in Munich, Germany. The facility will be operated by Quickstep GmbH and will be used to conduct manufacturing trials and development work for European aerospace groups, including Eurocopter (Donauwörth, Germany) and Airbus Industrie (Toulouse, France).

The center, at the EADS group facilities in Munich, includes a Quickstep QS20 composites production machine. The first projects to be conducted at the site will involve development work under a cooperation and development agreement (CDA) with Eurocopter, announced in May. The center also will manufacture prototype parts for Airbus Deutschland GmbH (Laupheim, Germany).

The CDA with Eurocopter aims to investigate, optimize and qualify the manufacture of composites parts for the helicopter maker. Assuming successful optimization, the agreement calls for industrialization leading to commercial production of aerospace components using the Quickstep Process in a number of helicopter programs in 2008.

Quickstep also has been awarded a U.S. patent covering the “melding” aspect of the Quickstep Process for composites manufacture. Melding denotes a Quickstep technique that en-ables multiple composite components to be “melted and welded” together without the use of adhesives, bolts or rivets. Following this process, the resulting structure reportedly shows no physical difference or separating surface between the two joined parts. Quickstep says this means of part integration offers designers and molders greater flexibility and reduces processing costs.

The company says the patent represents a significant development in its effort to secure international protection for Quickstep’s technology. A similar melding patent has been granted in Australia and China. Corresponding patents have been applied for in Europe, South Korea, Brazil, Israel and Japan.