Hot Drape Former Upgrade


Project Background

GKN Aerospace, the leading manufacturer of highly complex composite and metallic aero-structures and engine products, carried out an upgrade to a hot drape forming (HDF) machine used in the manufacture of wing components for Airbus aircraft. The HDF manages the drape of composite materials, providing simultaneous control of temperature, vacuum and movement.

Project title Hot Drape Former Upgrade
Location Bristol
Project Value £50,000
Project Duration 12 Weeks

SCS Group’s Involvement

Autoclave and Industrial Controls Ltd (AIC) carried out the upgrade and SCS Group undertook the supply of PLC hardware and design of the complex control software for the process.

SCS Group’s Solution

Working to AIC’s detailed specification, SCS Group designed a new control system using a Siemens S7-300 PLC plus a number of ET200 stations linked on a Profibus network that provided all of the functionality of the existing system, while adding features to automate parts of the process. A SCADA unit with a colour screen provided the interface to the control system.
SCS Group engineers commissioned the system on completion of installation by AIC.

“We were very pleased to work on such a technically demanding project and are delighted with the end project.”

Mike Parkhurst – SCS Group Systems Manager