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Digitizing Composites Manufacturing in the Aviation Industry

The Aviation Industry

The aviation industry has undergone remarkable advancements in materials and manufacturing processes since its inception. Beginning with wood, canvas, and steel, it transitioned to metals like aluminum and titanium post-World War I, offering lightweight and durable aircraft. Today, carbon fiber-reinforced composites (CFRP) dominate aviation manufacturing due to their lightweight properties. Manufacturing processes evolved alongside material advancements. Skilled artisans handcrafted wooden frames and skins in the early years, while the metal era saw manual cutting, shaping, welding, and riveting techniques. With the rise of composites, traditional metalworking gave way to advanced machinery like autoclaves. Despite challenges, ongoing innovations in high-performance resins, carbon fiber materials, lightweighting techniques, and advanced polymer composites ensure the continual enhancement of aviation materials and processes.

Features designed for the aviation industry


Quality Control

Real-time quality control can be conducted on each part produced rather than a sample, as the system can detect when certain parameters or behaviours are out of the ordinary. Therefore, intensive quality testing, and the high costs associated with them, can be reduced.


Flexibility & Dynamic Process Adaptation

Manufacturers can dynamically adapt their processes should any deviations occur. Additionally, by accurately predicting when desired Degree of Cure targets will be reached, cycles can become more flexible. Based on the DoC predictions, machine operators can decide to decrease or increase cycle times to achieve their DoC targets.


Digital component tracking

Effortlessly keep a comprehensive record of production data for each part that you produce. This includes data around individual instances of the degree of cure (or crystallization), glass transition temperature, and other key parameters associated with a newly manufactured part. In other words, you can easily trace every detail of your production, validate your inventory’s background, and create relevant reports from anywhere with an internet connection.


Reduced Manual Labor

Process digitalization and the digital thread are also beneficial in reducing the amount of effort required for manual process tracking and quality control. In other words, those responsible for physically recording cycle times, temperatures, pressure levels, and more, gain more time to perform other tasks.

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Customer Success Story

How a Leader in Aerospace Manufacturing Digitized Processes

With the aim of investigating the effects of process digitization on production efficiency, a leader in aerospace manufacturing implemented the in-mold process monitoring system by NETZSCH Process Intelligence GmbH. Otherwise known as sensXPERT Digital Mold, the process monitoring system examined the in-mold material behavior of composite aerospace parts to detect potential deviations and avoid part rejection in post-process quality assurance (QA) tests.



How to Boost Efficiency and Digitalize The Production of Composite Parts

Aircraft manufacturing case: digitalization of vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM), coupled with post-mold autoclave curing of fuselage support produced in carbon fibre – RTM6-1.

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