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Achievement Award Winners

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1999 Award Recipients

Advanced Fiber Placement

This award-winning project team matured and qualified Advanced Fiber Placement Technology for DoD, and commercial applications. The effort consisted of advancing the fiber placement manufacturing process to provide a high level of confidence in the design, planning, and manufacture of composite structures for production applications. As a result of this ManTech effort, Advanced Fiber Placement Technology is now a fully accepted, standard manufacturing process and is receiving widespread industrial base application.

Initial implementation by Boeing was on the Navy’s F/A-18E/F horizontal stabilator skins and by Northrop Grumman on F/A-18E/F engine inlet ducts and fuselage panels. Program success was further demonstrated by transition to applications for the Navy and Marine Corps V-22 fuselage skin and sponsons, the pivot shaft on the Air Force’s F-22, the landing gear pod fairings on the C-17, the horizontal stabilator on the T-45, the upper hull assembly of the Army’s Composite Armored Vehicle, the main rotor spars and cuffs on the AH-1 helicopter, fuel tanks on the X-33, and inlet ducts for the JSF. Commercial uses include components on the Bell Helicopter 609, Boeing 777, and Raytheon Premier.

The advanced fiber placement technology provides a state-of-the-art, low cost substitute for manual touch-labor and results in repeatable, improved quality components and reduced cycle time. The approximately $90 million saved on the F/A-18E/F represents a cost savings of 25-38% per component. Also, three machine builders have sold 14 fiber placement machines, valued at approximately $37 million, to aerospace prime contractors. The program has resulted in the industry/Navy team providing a tremendous opportunity for manufacturing higher quality, lower cost composite parts for both military and commercial aircraft components. At the award presentation during a luncheon at the 1999 Defense Manufacturing Conference, Mr. John Todaro, Director, Technology Transition, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology, said, “This technology program has been a model case of industry/Navy teamwork aimed at the common goals of cost reductions and quality improvements.”

In addition to the Navy MANTECH investment, the Army contributed $250,000 to the program for its CAV upper hull assembly effort; Cincinnati Machine, Ingersoll, Alliant Techsystems, and Automated Dynamics contributed approximately $40 million to machine development; and Boeing and Northrop Grumman contributed approximately $10 million to process development.

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1999 Defense Manufacturing Technology Achievement Award Nominees

The manufacturing technology project nominees that were considered for the first annual award were completed and/or demonstrated in FY98 or FY99. The nominees were:

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