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Shanghai Aircraft selects MAG CHARGER in industry's first U.S.- made composite tape layer sale to China

News International-French

21 Feb 2012

Low-rail gantry CHARGER contour tape layer to produce main wings, stabilizers and central wing boxes for Comac Shanghai Aircraft C919 and C929 commercial passenger jets

MAG expands its presence in the Chinese aerospace industry with the sale of the first composite processing system from a U.S. company. The new CHARGER™ low-rail gantry contour tape layer, to be installed in Shanghai, will produce wings, horizontal stabilizers and central wing boxes for COMAC's C919 and C929 commercial passenger jets, slated to enter service in 2016. According to Chip Storie, MAG Executive Vice President Aerospace, "This sale of the first U.S.-made automated tape layer for the Chinese market builds on MAG's successes in China's growing aerospace industry. Shanghai Aircraft already has dozens of MAG machine tools in production in its manufacturing operation. This further solidifies MAG as the premier supplier of advanced manufacturing equipment for commercial aerospace production in China."

Shanghai Aircraft is the major production facility of the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC). This tape layer will be installed in the new COMAC Pudong composite facility.

"The Chinese aerospace industry is booming, and this sale is a breakthrough for U.S. machinery exports in general and MAG in particular," Storie added. "We are highly encouraged about the potential for follow up sales, where our global reach as an integrated supplier of composites and metal cutting solutions offers customers advantages in engineering and local service support through our Shanghai tech center."

MAG's CHARGER tape layer deposits composite tape at industry-leading speeds, while achieving aerospace grade placement accuracies on complex contours. CHARGER Series machines lay 75, 150 or 300 mm (3, 6 or 12 in) carbon/epoxy tape with any orientation and number of plies, over tool surfaces with contours, flats and changing geometries, producing consistent quality, part shape, thickness and strength. MAG-designed controls and software make CHARGER's multi-axis movements easy to program and control. The powerful ACES® programming software translates CAD or CATIA tooling and laminate data into multi-axis machine commands. MAG has sold more than 90 seats of this proprietary software throughout the world.

The low-rail gantry platform is designed with high structural stiffness for reliability and fast, accurate lay-up. The next-generation re-engineered contour tape head contributes to higher throughput with faster, simpler side loading of tape rolls up to 300 mm (12 in) wide and 650 mm (25.6 in) diameter. The new head also features integrated ultrasonic laminate cutting, cutter depth-setting assistance and dockable inkjet marking for maximum system flexibility and performance.

MAG composite processing systems are the most widely used equipment throughout the worldwide aerospace industry, with more than 130 systems sold. In addition to the Shanghai Aircraft programs, MAG taper layers and fiber placement systems are used to produce a wide range of components for numerous aircraft programs, including the Airbus A350-XWB and Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

MAG's CHARGER tape layer deposits composite tape at industry-leading speeds, while achieving aerospace grade placement accuracies on complex contours.