Strata deploys automated manufacturing for Airbus A350-900
Mar 16, 2020: Strata Manufacturing (Strata), the advanced composite aero structures manufacturing facility wholly-owned by Mubadala Investment Company PJSC, has deployed two of the latest generation MTorres Automatic Tape Laying (ATL) machines to support its Airbus A350-900 manufacturing capabilities.
The Al Ain based manufacturer has gained first part qualification and first article inspection design and quality verifications for the use of the computer-controlled robotic ATL machines that will automate Strata’s production of the Inboard Flap components.
“The deployment of breakthrough technologies brings enhanced efficiencies and increased productivity that will drive the company’s long-term competitiveness in a rapidly evolving and increasingly competitive industry,” said Ismail Ali Abdulla, CEO of Strata. “Through the quick adoption of cutting-edge technologies and solutions such as ATL, Strata will further advance its position in the global aerospace industry, facilitate our evolution to manufacture more complex aircraft parts and establish Strata as a key industry player with the technological capabilities to grow in advanced manufacturing.”
As part of the nation’s Emiratization Plan and Strata’s commitment towards developing and harnessing the full potential of a UAE workforce, five of Strata’s employees, including two female Emiratis, Mai Jaber Saeed Al Marri and Latifa Abdulla Alshamsi, travelled to Spain for a five-day training course on the operation of the ATL Machine. The training course, which was split into theoretical classes and hands-on exercises, covered a complete overview of the system such as machine operation and maintenance. In addition, Emiratis Barraq Khalid Abdulrahim, Project Lead and Meera Al Shamsi, Junior Supervisor in the Production unit, played an instrumental role in the development and deployment of the ATL machines on the Airbus A350 Inboard Flaps.
“As we aim to continue delivering high-quality products to our customers, we consider the integration of machines and robotics vital in creating an efficient manufacturing system. Equipping our people with the right tools and techniques when adopting advanced manufacturing technologies is a key element in our vision in increasing Strata’s competitiveness in the global aerospace supply chain,” said Abdulla.
The two ATL machines lay unidirectional prepreg materials onto a flat bed, which is then transferred to a mould tool for further processing. With a work envelope of 2.5 meters by 10 meters, the process of large composite layups is easily automated and eliminates the need for a separate ultrasonic cutting machine. Through this new technology, Strata will drastically reduce processing times in comparison to a standard hand layup process. With the support of its industry partners, Strata is likewise incubating other advanced technologies such as additive manufacturing, robotic assembly of aircraft structures, advanced inspection techniques through thermography, and optimisation of processing and machining of composite parts.
Strata works with leading aircraft manufacturers, including Airbus, Boeing, Leonardo, and Pilatus. Based at Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park, Strata supports the development of a leading aerospace hub in Abu Dhabi as part of the emirate’s economic diversification initiatives.