Fokker and NLR Open New Advanced Composites Facility

Fokker and the National Aerospace Laboratory will open in a new high tech manufacturing plant for composite aircraft components.

The new facility will manufacture composite landing gear components while also developing new manufacturing techniques for high performance composites. Other companies that develop composites can also use the facility for testing their materials and automating production processes.

Fokker say that the Automated Composite Manufacturing Pilot Plant is a key step in developing expert knowledge of composites in the Netherlands. Composites are increasing replacing steel or aluminium parts in the aviation industry and are often stronger, more sustainable, less expensive, and capable of being applied in a wide variety of areas.

The ACM Pilot Plant will start with the further automation of the production of composite landing gear components. In a wider context, the plant will focus on producing composites reinforced with industrial resins, for which the plant is outfitted with ultra-modern equipment, including one of the largest robotic composite fibre braiding machines in Europe.

This new facility comes from a Public-Private Partnership between Fokker Landing Gear and the National Aerospace Laboratory (NLR), in close collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the province of Flevoland and the Noordoostpolder municipality. The ACM Pilot Plant is part of Smart Industry Fieldlab Flexible Manufacturing’, for which plans for further development are currently being devised.