01 October 2015

A350 carbon wing covers manufacturing technology changed: from ATL to AFP.

MTorres will provide the automatic fibre placement (AFP) machines that Airbus will use at its plants in Stade (Germany) and Illescas (Spain) to manufacture the A350 upper and lower wing covers.
Source: MTorres

Airbus has selected this technology change from its currently used MTorres made automatic tape laying (ATL) machines, to the latest generation of automatic fibre placement (AFP) machines, also developed by MTorres.

Source: Airbus

This change implies a substantial increase in the overall process productivity and a significant reduction on the material scrap generated in that process.

Source: Airbus

As a result relevant cost savings have been identified by Airbus leading to take this industrial decision, after going through all the technical analysis needed to validate this new technology for its application to these types of components.

Source: Airbus

The last generation AFP machines developed of MTorres includes an automatic head change capability, built in the AFP machines to carry out the head change within seconds, so that the process of replacing used carbon fibre spools for new ones has virtually no impact on the overall time the machine is laying down the material to build the part.

Source: Airbus

With this Airbus decision, all main A350 wing components, spars, stringers and skins will be manufactured using AFP technology, and MTorres is the sole supplier for these components AFP technology.

Based on the article “MTorres made AFP sole supplier for A350 wing skins” published in Aerospace Manufacturing


  1. Does anyone know if Airbus delivered MSN008 in 3Q? If not, does anyone know why? (I realize it could be something small since it's for Qatar after all.)

  2. I dont quite understand this article, are these components shipped to Broughton who build the wings or does this mean Broughton has less to do?

    1. The wingskin for the A350 were made in Stade ( upper ) and Ilescas (lower)from the beginning. No change.



      What changed is the lay down rate of Carbon Fibers.

      How did boeing fare with its fiber laying capabilities that initially did not show the projected learning curve ( from the "Lessons" pdf )

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