MT Aerospace launches a digital rocket factory
MT Aerospace inaugurated a highly automated factory in Augsburg to manufacture various components of the upcoming Ariane 6 launcher. Overall, it will triple productivity, said CEO Hans J. Steininger.08 Jul. 2018 Kai Tubbesing
MT Aerospace is involved in the development and production of the Ariane 6 rocket carrier system, including the hydrogen tank , with an industry share of around 10%. The manufacturer not only converted existing production capacities at the Augsburg site, but also inaugurated an additional, 2500 m² large hall in June 2018, which is to signify the " leap into the Industry 4.0 era. "
MT Aerospace is now completely digitized in Augsburg with a combination of networked M2M communication (Machine to Machine), the use of drilling and riveting robots, and a worldwide unique FSW (Friction Stir Welding) welding system. The new concept allows the production of novel lightweight components made of various types of assembled metals. This makes a significantly greater weight saving possible as compared to previous methods. The welding system documents all production steps and automatically checks the quality of individual components by ultrasonic measurement. Components that leave the system require no further steps for post-processing. CEO Hans J. Steiniger considers the new, digitalized welding factory a "technology leap in the order of magnitude of 20 years and more."
In particular, the modernization of existing production capacity and the creation of new manufacturing capacity are aimed at making the Ariane 6 launcher more competitive through more efficient and cheaper digitized manufacturing processes. This project is also evident when looking at other component groups. For example, some components of the new ETID engine will be produced through 3D printing in the future. The engine has recently successfully passed a first firing test.
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