Russian firm buys MAG systems for composites aero use

Russia's United Aircraft Corp. will take delivery of a MAG VIPER fiber placement system and two HyperMach machining centers in early 2011 for manufacture of the MS-21 commercial aircraft.

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MAG Industrial Automation Systems (Erlanger, Ky., USA) announced on March 2 that it will supply the first automated composites processing system ordered by the Russian aerospace industry as part of a new sale to Russia's United Aircraft Corp. (UAC, Moscow, Russia). The purchase of three machines — a MAG VIPER fiber placement system and two HyperMach vertical profilers, valued at more than $9 million — is the first made to support production of UAC's MS-21 series of commercial, medium-range airliners. The machines will be delivered in the first quarter of 2011.

The VIPER 1200 fiber placement system lays 12 tows of 6.35-mm/0.25-inch composite prepreg tape, and has 9m/29.5-ft carriage travel and 3m/9.3-ft diameter mandrel station. The VIPER family of machines is modular, offered with 12, 16, 24 or 32 tows, and is available in vertical and horizontal platforms. The HyperMach profilers acquired by UAC are single-spindle, 5-axis designs with 85-kW (113 hp), 20,000-rpm spindles and X-axis travels of 12.6m and 18.2m (41.3 and 59.7 ft) respectively. The longer machine has dual work zones and a dust collection system.

The sale broadens MAG's footprint in Russia, which was established with recent sales of 26 large machine tools to Ural Boeing Manufacturing and VSMPO-Avisma. Both companies produce titanium components in Russia for Boeing and Airbus commercial planes. "Our newly created Aerospace Industry Team was a key enabler for us in this sale," said Chip Storie, MAG executive vice president, Aerospace. "It brings into focus our strength as the only globally capable company integrating core aerospace manufacturing technologies — metalworking and automated composites processing — engineered, built and backed by a single source with local sales and service in Russia. The team consulted in depth with UAC, even hosting three aerospace manufacturing workshops in Russia that included a design and review of an entire wing factory."