Construction of a new plant for composite manufacturing
The new facility was put into operation within 15 months
In September 2008 Aernnova signed the contract with Airbus for the design and manufacture of the A350XWB HTP and Elevator, which required the construction of a new plant in Illescas (Toledo, Spain) for composites manufacturing through ATL Technology (Automated Tape Lay-up).
These contracts meant the simultaneous management of several highly complex projects, which comprised undertaking a great number of activities with had to be carried out in parallel, and which included:
- Structure design and calculation. Concurrent engineering with product and manufacture engineering teams.
- Tooling design and manufacture.
- Equipment specifications (ATL, Autoclave, Hot Forming, US, etc).
- Plant and facility specifications, as well as its construction.
- Technology Development Plan. Manufacture and certification tests.
- Employee recruitment and training.
- Processes development and teams planning.
- Products manufacturing and certification.
During the project launch, a group of experts from other Aernnova composite plants were involved, to qualify the new staff.
In order to master all disciplines and technology, that team carried out a comprehensive technological demonstrators manufacturing plan.
The new facilities were erected on a 65.000 sqm. site, and put into operation within 15 months with the following equipment considered with the programme ramp-up:
- 15000 sqm. cleanroom (total constructed area 36000m2)
- 6-7 ATL or AFP machines
- 2 Serra Hot-Forming units, an Aernnova group enterprise
- 3 Autoclaves
- 2 Ultrasound units
In March 2009 the earthworks start and in July 2009 the first pillars are assembled and the metallic trusses of the plant are installed. Between september and november, the process of laying down the special ATL machine foundation starts, the cleanroom flooring is placed and the closure of the facades is carried out.
In December 2009 the roofing installation starts and the ATL machine assembly works begin, which, due to their specific characteristics, have to be assembled under special climate control.
From March to June 2010 the following equipment was installed:
- 1 Autoclave 14m X 5m
- 2 ATL units, flat and curved
- 1 Hot-Forming unit
- 1 Ultrasound machine, Phased Array
The plant was finalised and put into operation by June 2010. This allowed the start of manufacturing of a number of prototypes. The official opening took place the 15th of February 2011.
During the second semester of 2011 the on-time/high quality delivery of the first A350 XWB HTP took place. This event was possible thanks to the concurrent work of multi-disciplined teams which were able to design and manufacture structures of high complexity, meeting the most demanding requirements.