Innovation in Large Aircraft Lipskin Manufacturing

Manufactured lipskin

Innovation in Large Aircraft Lipskin Manufacturing

Standex Engineering Technologies Group (ETG) takes pride in leveraging decades of experience to solve our customers’ challenges. We do this by providing new innovative metal formed solutions. Today, we are highlighting our lipskin manufacturing efforts.

Unlocking More Fuel Efficient Designs

The commercial aerospace industry is committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by mid-century. With significant research initiatives, the industry is actively developing hydrogen, electric, hybrid and 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powered aircraft. In the meantime, airframers, nacelle and engine manufacturers are seeking nearer-term paths to reduce their carbon emissions and costs on new and in-development aircraft. One way they can do this is by increasing fuel efficiency through engine and nacelle design. Several aerospace leaders seek to use laminar flow surfaces. Using these will reduce nacelle drag and deliver the desired fuel efficiency gains.

Vertical lipskin aircraft engine component
Manufactured lipskin
Inner Lipskin

To further the research into this field, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aerostructures sought to verify the viability of manufacturing a nacelle inlet lipskin for a large, long-range aircraft that could meet the tolerances needed for laminar flow. The aluminum alloy lipskin demonstrator they designed for this effort measured approximately 15 feet in diameter, nearly 4 feet on its extended outside leg and most importantly was a monolithic construction. This desired part presented a major manufacturing challenge but would offer a large step forward in the company’s knowledge base enabling new and noteworthy technical achievements.

Finding a True Manufacturing Partner

Through collaboration with ETG’s Spincraft business, the aerostructures manufacturer tackled this unique metal forming challenge. The firm recognized Spincraft’s earned pedigree of forming large metallic structures to precise contours and tolerances for leading space and aviation applications. Delivered out of ETG’s Spincraft MA facility in North Billerica, the project required innovative tooling and forming processes to fabricate the demonstrator successfully. Standex ETG engineers devised and developed a new patented process to produce the desired large monolithic lipskin envelope that could be machined to final shape.

Spincraft MA Team with lipskin

As with many experimental efforts, this project was not without challenges – particularly machining the innermost section of the lipskin with available assets and development time constraints. However, upon inspection, the majority of the part achieved required waviness requirements and any deviations were deemed resolvable.

The customer’s project was published in a research paper and presented at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ Scitech 2022 Forum. A link to the paper and presentation can be found here.

Your Advanced Metal Formed Solutions Provider

The Standex ETG team is proud of its achievement in delivering this innovative metal forming solution and is keen to continue working at the leading edge of aerospace manufacturing. Reach out to us with your most complex designs to learn how Standex ETG can support you.

2020 Airbus D2P Challenger Status awarded to ETG Spincraft WI

June 2020: Engineering Technologies Group recently was notified that Spincraft WI is one of 12 worldwide suppliers to achieve ‘Challenger’ Status in the Airbus 2020 Detail Parts Partnership (D2P) program. This prestigious award is issued across all divisions of Airbus and is second only to the D2P Global Supplier status issued to nine suppliers this year.

Spincraft WI has supplied Lipskins to the Airbus A320 program for three years from its second New Berlin plant built in 2016. ETG parent, Standex International, invested in the facility which specializes in 100% flow-line manufacturing for thingauge aluminum forming.

“ETG Management and the WI team are very honored to have achieved this award,” commented ETG VP Sales & Marketing David Doucette. “We greatly value our successful partnership with Airbus and look forward to our ongoing Lipskin programs and future collaborations.”
More information will be shared as further details are provided.

 

Spincraft UK £1M Investment Expands Aviation and Space Capabilities

Newcastle-upon-Tyne GB: May-2017: Spincraft ETG, based in the heart of northeast England, recently received £1M funding from their parent company Standex. As a provider of metal-forming solutions, this funding will allow the manufacturing plant to further expand its capacity and breadth of services, especially within the Aviation and Space markets.

What makes the Newcastle-based Spincraft plant unique is their metal forming capabilities including CNC Spin Forming, Sheer forming and Pressing (using cold and hot forming). The substantial investment will permit the creation of a brand new aeronautics manufacturing cell, allowing the Newcastle plant to offer its customers full turn-key solutions in-house.
Mike Hutchinson, Spincraft’s Operation Director said:

“Matching our investment with our customer’s long term needs is crucial for the future of the Newcastle plant. Our highly committed and experienced teams are anxiously awaiting the new cell”
The initial stage of the investment includes the following processes within the vertically integrated cell:
• Vertical Turning • 5-Axis milling • CMM and Control Room • FPI Inspection • Laser Faro Scanners • Shadow Graph & Part Marking
Cell construction is well underway, and initial segments are expected online as early as summer 2017.
Catherine McKinnel, currently standing as candidate for Labour Member of Parliament for Newcastle North, recently visited Spincraft to learn more about the plant’s capabilities and future plans. McKinnel toured the Newburn facility and had the opportunity to meet with management and factory employees.
Catherine reported:
“It’s really exciting to know that world-leading technology developed and manufactured here in Newcastle is winging its way into space – but even more so to learn that we could be playing a leading role in this growing international industry in the years to come. I am looking forward to supporting Spincraft’s plans for the future.”
McKinnells full review of her Spincraft ETG visit can be found at
www.catherinemckinnellmp.co.uk
About Spincraft, Standex Engineering Technologies Group
SPINCRAFT and ENGINETICS form Standex’s Engineering Technologies Group (ETG). Six facilities across the US and UK provide global manufacturing solutions via collaborative engineering efforts. Precision metal forming technologies are supported by vertically integrated manufacturing processes. ETG solutions support Aviation, Defence and Space-System markets. For more information about Spincraft and Enginetics, visit www.standexetg.com
About Standex Standex International Corporation is a multi-industry manufacturer in five broad business segments: Food Service Equipment, Engineering Technologies, Engraving, Electronics, and Hydraulics with operations in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, South Africa, India and China. For additional information, visit the Company’s website at www.standex.com/

Standex Awarded Contract from Airbus for A320neo Aircraft

SALEM, N.H.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Standex International Corporation (NYSE:SXI) today announced that Spincraft, the Company’s engineered products metal fabrication business unit in its Engineering Technologies Group, has received a long-term contract from Airbus to produce single-piece lipskins for the nacelles on the Airbus A320neo, one of the largest-selling commercial aircrafts in the world. The contract, which runs through 2021, represents Spincraft’s second major award for the A320 neo program following last year’s announcement of the award for the geared turbo fan engine. Under the terms of the agreement, Spincraft will produce single piece spun and machined lipskins for 750 A320neo aircraft. The lipskins will be included in the aircraft’s CFM International LEAP-X engine option. Program development of the lip is expected to begin in early 2015, with the initial delivery scheduled for 2016.1
“This new contract for the A320neo marks our first direct supplier agreement with Airbus,” said Len Paolillo, President of Standex’s Engineering Technologies Group. “We will be using CNC forming technologies that we have developed and refined over the years, along with investments in other processes to support the production for this product line. This is a significant win for the Engineering Technologies Group in our targeted high-growth aviation market. The A320neo is one of the leading fuel-efficient planes in the industry today, and we have worked closely with Airbus, and will continue to collaborate with them to provide solutions in their efforts to achieve cost and efficiency improvements on their aircraft.1”

About Standex
Standex International Corporation is a multi-industry manufacturer in five broad business segments: Food Service Equipment Group, Engineering Technologies Group, Engraving Group, Electronics Products Group, and Hydraulics Products Group with operations in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, South Africa, India and China. For additional information, visit the Company’s website at www.standex.com.

1Safe Harbor Language Statements in this news release include, or may be based upon, management’s current expectations, estimates and/or projections about Standex’s markets and industries. These statements are forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may materially differ from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ are the impact of implementation of government regulations and programs affecting our businesses, unforeseen legal judgments, fines or settlements, uncertainty in conditions in the financial and banking markets, general domestic and international economy including more specifically increases in raw material costs, the ability to continue to successfully implement productivity improvements, increase market share, access new markets, introduce new products, enhance our presence in strategic channels and the other factors discussed in the Annual Report of Standex on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and any subsequent periodic reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, any forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates only as of the day made and should not be relied upon as representing management’s estimates as of any subsequent date. While the Company may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company and management specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if management’s estimates change.

Contact:
Standex International Corporation

Thomas DeByle, 603-893-9701

CFO

InvestorRelations@Standex.com