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France Relance award granted to Omega Systèmes, for automated composites slitting

Omega Systèmes, a Web Industries company, has been awarded a grant by the France Relance [Recovery] plan for the design and development of aeronautic thermoset and thermoplastic slitting solutions.

France Relance award granted to Omega Systèmes, for automated composites slitting
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Funds from the grant will modernize and automate Omega Systèmes’ equipment at its Nantes plant. The plant will supply next-generation aircraft manufacturers and contribute to the industry’s economic rebound from the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.

Under the grant’s project, OMEGA-WEB 2022, Omega Systèmes will design and develop in France innovative solutions for slitting thermoplastics and thermoset composite materials. Central to the project will be in-line automated inspection to support French and European R&D projects and the large-scale production of composite parts by AFP (Automated Fiber Placement) and ATL (Automated Tape Laying). The company will deliver higher value-added products to the market that meet the requirements of future aeronautical programs.

According to Omega Systèmes General Manager Jim Sharkey, France Relance awarded the grant based largely on Omega’s strategic value chain expertise.

“We can accelerate the time to market from material selection and management to the cutting, packaging and delivery of materials. Plus, Web can deliver scale to its aerospace customers, and at a reduced cost, to accelerate composites materials’ speed to market.”

Omega Systèmes General Manager Jim Sharkey, France Relance

Omega Systèmes has manufacturing locations in Nantes and Bordeaux, in the heart of France’s aircraft manufacturing region, and is supported by Web Industries in Stade, Germany and its six North American plants. Nantes is home to Omega Systèmes’ European Center of Excellence for Composite Development & Commercialization. It provides the European market with access to technical teams, material quality control and pilot lines for demonstration, rapid development, testing and qualification of composite material formats.

“We supply Tier 1 and Tier 2 aerospace equipment manufacturers. Having unique capabilities in France and Europe, and with a Center of Excellence for thermoplastic and thermosetting composites, allows us to offer the market increased production capacity and supply for new aircraft programs designed with primary and secondary composite structures. We will help OEMs reduce aircraft weight, improve their carbon footprint and offer price-competitive products. Our high-performance cutting capabilities, for example, increase productivity by a factor of 5 for the supply of precision slit tape delivered in spooled form.”

Omega Systèmes General Manager Jim Sharkey, France Relance

According to France Relance documentation, its funding is aimed at “accelerating the diversification, modernization, and ecological transformation of the aeronautics…[sector].” Investment support and assistance for the aeronautics sector was announced on September 3, 2020, by Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economics, Finance and Recovery.

“France Relance lists innovation and modernization as two primary goals,” Sharkey reports. “With our state-of-the-art solutions for the slitting of thermoplastic and thermosetting composite materials, Omega Systèmes is uniquely equipped to support France’s aeronautics sector in achieving these critical goals.”

Omega Systèmes is currently addressing three composite slitting objectives as specified by the grant:
1) Optimizing the slitting of thermoplastics by creating new formats and parameters, and specifying exclusive blades system with improved cutting capabilities
2) Developing a new composites splicing system and test bench
3) Developing slit-width monitoring and foreign object debris (FOD) detection systems

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