High-tech production for aerospace
Over 75 years have passed since the foundation of ‘Motorenwerk Varel’ and the site has evolved into a high-tech plant for the aviation industry that is second to none. With its present-day workforce of 1300, the plant is now part of Premium AEROTEC. Its machinery is the most advanced in Europe, producing highly complex machined components as well as turned and milled aluminium, steel and titanium parts for all Airbus airliners, the A400M military transporter and the Eurofighter.
Aircraft components since 1955
Aircraft construction activities at the Varel site began in 1955. Jigs and fixtures and machined components were manufactured in those days. Varel soon began to specialise in these activities, and in 1964 it became the central machining plant of Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (VFW). This circumstance, coupled with its early participation in the Airbus programme starting in the mid-1970s, ultimately blazed the trail for Varel’s future. Varel was assigned responsibility as the machining plant for the Airbus group, and also became a centre of competence for production equipment engineering.
Today, Varel uses state-of-the-art five-axis machining centres to manufacture large and small parts. A high-precision ‘speedline’ ensures very short throughput times for urgent orders and spare parts that are required at short notice. Besides machining, assembly is also becoming increasingly important. In addition to the assemblies produced today, the Varel plant is responsible for assembling the passenger and cargo door frames and the floor grid for the A350 XWB. Another pillar is the production systems field, which produces complex manufacturing and assembly equipment – from the initial design to development, simulation, production, commissioning and customer support along the entire process chain. The Varel engineers have considerable experience in the construction of models for high-speed and low-speed wind tunnel testing. The models they build in different take-off and landing configurations (e.g. wing flap positions) for all desired aircraft types are used to test aerodynamic behaviour during different flight phases in the huge wind tunnels. A technology and training centre has been established next door.