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12th July 2019, Marlborough, MA

Web Industries to expand composite ply cutting operations

Computer controlled cutting equipment rapidly produces MLI pieces in one pass. © Web Industries

Computer controlled cutting equipment rapidly produces MLI pieces in one pass. © Web Industries

Web Industries, a precision formatter of advanced composites materials for aerospace, space and medical applications, is implementing a major expansion of its Denton, TX, manufacturing facility. The expansion will increase the plant’s productive capacity, smooth the flow of manufacturing activities and help support larger customer programmes, the company reports.

According to Ben Winters, General Manager of Web Industries’ CAD Cut Services business unit, the US$ 1.5 million project will add 20,000 square feet of manufacturing space to the facility, nearly doubling its size, and create new multi-layer insulation (MLI) and composite ply cutting production cells.

The project will leave current production activities at Denton unaffected and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020. “The completed expansion will transform Web Denton into one of the company’s Centers of Excellence, joining other Web manufacturing hubs such as Atlanta, GA, and Montpelier, VT,” said Mr Winters. “With the Denton expansion and the recent acquisition of Omega Systèmes, which has manufacturing facilities in Nantes and Bordeaux, France, Web has strengthened its position as the leading precision formatter globally for aerospace, space, medical and related applications.”

Two-phase project

The Denton expansion will take place in two phases. Phase one involves creation of a 10,000-square-foot production area for the cutting and assembly of MLI blankets. These are multi-layer components that provide thermal insulation in space vehicles such as satellites and rockets, and in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines used in medical applications. The new area will be equipped with computer-controlled automated cutting tables and industrial sewing machines for blanket assembly.

“We’ve seen a surge in demand for MLI thermal solutions due to the new ‘space race’ and the launch of numerous small satellites,” commented Mr Winters. “The expanded MLI production area at Denton will help us meet both current and anticipated demand for MLI and other thermal solutions. The addition of sewing capabilities positions us to supply completely finished products ready for installation at the launch pad.”

The expansion’s second phase centres on a new composites ply cutting and kitting area, which will format materials for aerospace engines and related applications. Also slated for expansion are Denton’s administrative offices and employee training facilities. In addition, the project gives Web the space and flexibility to install more freezers in the future for the proper storage of composite materials before processing.

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