Innovative FACC technology can be found in numerous elements on board almost every aircraft – including in the outer flaps of the Airbus A321. FACC has now delivered the 1,000th shipset to its customer Airbus after a production period of just a few years.
“We are very proud of the fact that the 1,000th flap shipset has now left our assembly line after many years of continuous further development. Continued and high-quality performance such as in the A320 program is a clear testimony to our technological leadership,” said Robert Machtlinger, CEO of FACC. “Achievements like this build on the skills and expertise of our members of staff and require a sustained innovative drive. Congratulations to the entire team for their outstanding performance.”
Automation for efficient production
FACC was assigned to manufacture the outer flaps in 2012. After only a short development phase, the first shipset was delivered to Airbus Broughton just one year after the start of the project. “The special features of FACC flaps are their high degree of automation including tape layers and pulse echo test robots, their sophisticated assembly, but also the size of their components and the clocked assembly line,” stresses Robert Machtlinger. Numerous milestones were achieved during the course of the project, such as the introduction of a clocked assembly line, the implementation of a new outer flap model for the A321neo (new engine option) and the automation of the drilling process with the company’s own robots. Further advantages of FACC’s flap production include short lead times and thus being able to deliver on schedule. This has also given rise to a rate ramp-up of at least 26 shipsets per month.
“Over time, we invested approximately ten million euros in the production of these flaps. The optimized assembly line also allows us to supply our customers with high-quality products,” Machtlinger adds.
Premium lightweight construction of the highest quality
Flaps are mobile control surfaces located on the wings of an aircraft, which ensure that aircraft are also able to take off and land at lower speeds. The outer flaps of the Airbus A321 are about 7.5 meters long, 1.26 meters wide and almost 40 centimeters high. FACC manufactures them from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) and glass fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP). Both lightweight construction materials exhibit a high degree of stability and meet the high load requirements combined with a low weight. The production of the outer flaps and, above all, the assembly process involving various metal components require know-how and expertise, which the almost 100 specially trained experts contribute to the FACC assembly line on a daily basis.