Key supplier for all Airbus series programmes
In this core business, thanks to the use of state-of-the-art technology, materials and manufacturing processes and not least to its highly qualified staff, the company has now become the most important supplier of aerostructures for all Airbus series programmes. Premium AEROTEC’s range of services includes structural components for the entire A320 Family (A318, A319, A320 and A321 single-aisle aircraft), the A330 and A340 long-haul airliners and the double-decker A380. In the A350 XWB and A400M programmes that are currently starting up, Premium AEROTEC is likewise undertaking a significant share of the development and production activities.
“Particularly the present developments in the A320 Family show that it is of paramount importance that Premium AEROTEC maintains its leading position at all times through on-time, on-quality delivery, technological innovations and a committed workforce. That is the basis on which we must sustainably establish our company as a leading supplier of aerostructures in an environment of global competition. At the same time, we are focusing on the ramp-up of production for our extensive workshares in the next generation of aircraft,” stressed Premium AEROTEC's CEO Kai Horten.
The company’s delivery figures for Airbus series programmes is something to be proud of: over the past 25 years, Premium AEROTEC has delivered fuselage shells and sections for over 5,200 aircraft in the A320 Family. The largest of the three shells manufactured in Nordenham is known as the ‘super shell’. This component reaches its maximum dimensions for the A321 aircraft type, where the super shell is some nine metres long and nearly four metres wide (chordal dimension), with a maximum weight of around 650 kilograms. After completion of the production and assembly work in Nordenham, the shells are ready for installation – meaning that their surfaces are finished and they are equipped with integrated baggage and freight door frames. They are transported by road to Airbus in Hamburg for fuselage assembly.
Besides this super shell and other large parts of the fuselage outer skin (sections 15 and 17), Premium AEROTEC is also responsible for the production and assembly of the entire section 19 at its Augsburg plant. Section 19 extends from the rear end of the passenger cabin to the beginning of the tail cone, and houses the connecting points for the horizontal and vertical tail planes. Augsburg is responsible for the entire assembly and equipment of this fuselage section. Altogether, the assembly weighs some 600 kilograms, is about 3.2 metres long, and has a maximum diameter of up to three metres. The Premium AEROTEC workshare also includes other fuselage and wing components such as the floor beams, the inner flap tracks, the keel beams and the control device for the vertical tail unit. Premium AEROTEC inaugurated its new factory in Braşov, Romania, at the end of 2010, where A320 keel beams are now being manufactured in series.
The keel beams support the fuselage structure in the area of the main landing gear bays. With a length of over six metres and weighing approximately 250 kilograms, they are currently among the most complex components produced at the Romanian plant.
Premium AEROTEC recently scored further successes in the Airbus long-haul aircraft product range, too. This spring, the company manufactured and assembled its first-ever fuselage section 14 for a passenger aircraft in the Airbus long-range family of airliners. The company started on the assembly of this fuselage section for the A330 Family only a few months beforehand, in autumn 2011 – exclusively for the freight version at first. While all sections 14 for A330 freighters are manufactured and assembled at Premium AEROTEC, the production of the passenger version is divided between Nordenham and Airbus in Hamburg. So far, 19 of these sections 14 have been delivered to Airbus.
Premium AEROTEC reached an important milestone in the A380 programme this year when it delivered the 100th inner wing leading edge to Airbus. This assembly is mounted between section 15 of the fuselage and each of the A380’s two wings. The first such component was delivered in 2003. This assembly calls for real teamwork within Premium AEROTEC: the sheet-metal parts for the wing leading edge undergo a stretch forming process in Nordenham before being sent to Augsburg, where they are combined with the large milled parts and carbon fibre composite (CFC) components manufactured at that location to form the finished assembly.
Premium AEROTEC generated revenues of 1.3 billion euros in 2011. Its core business is the development and manufacturing of metal and carbon composite aerostructures and the associated equipment and production systems. The company has production plants in Augsburg, Bremen, Nordenham and Varel in Germany, and in Braşov (Romania).
Further information can be found at www.premium-aerotec.com.