As part of its first phase of a $12 million infrastructure investment plan, Web Industries, an industry leader in formatting prepreg composites for aerostructure fabrication, made infrastructure upgrades and storage expansion at its plant outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
According to company officials, “these additions are the first part of a $12 million, three-year infrastructure investment plan that will increase efficiency and capacity at Web Atlanta and will position the facility to service a projected five-fold growth in aerospace composite formatting business over the next decade.”
“As the aerospace industry searches for best-practice solutions to ramping up production rates, companies are discovering the advantages of outsourcing necessary but non-value add secondary manufacturing operations like optimized composite formatting for downstream manufacturing as well as vendor managed inventory services like raw material ordering,” officials explained. “Contracting out these solutions allows companies to focus on improving and innovating their core competencies, simplifies their raw material costs, and lowers risk within their supply chain.”
"Every sector of the commercial aerospace industry is looking to increase build rates and fulfill outstanding orders," said Mark Pihl, Web's President/COO. "Web's continued investment in the expansion of our Atlanta facility and the ongoing development of new formatting technologies will allow our company to stay ahead of demand for composite slit tape and ply kits and will reinforce our position within the industry as the trusted source for formatted composites at commercial-scale volumes in support of major aerospace development programs."
To support the rapidly-growing base of aerospace fabricators based in the southeastern US that utilize hand lay-up processes, Web Atlanta is expanding its automated prepreg cutting and ply kitting operations, company officials said. Four additional cutting tables will join Web's existing assets in a customized environment optimized for FOD-free production and offering the region's aerospace, defense, and aviation industries a centrally-located, AS9100C certified supplier of custom-tailored composite ply kits.
To handle the projected increase in raw and formatted composites volumes, Web Atlanta has built a new 120,839 square foot cold storage freezer. This brings the facility's total freezer capacity to 289,214 square foot, which is one of the largest freezer footprints in the industry.
“This also expands the volume of vendor managed inventory services that Web can offer, giving innovative aerospace fabricators greater options to contract out their raw material procurement and storage, inventory lot tracking, quality assurance systems, customized ply kit or slit tape formatting, fulfillment, and finished goods safety stock,” company officials explained.