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Quickstep leaps into R&D to cut composites production costs

Manufacturing News

Aerospace composites manufacturer has signed an exciting engineering collaboration with the Sovereign Manufacturing Automation for Composites CRC (SoMAC CRC) and Deakin University Geelong’s Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (ISRII) to help bring down the cost of production.

An initial 12-month Aeroline programme of research is valued at $1 million, funded 50-50, and forms part of an anticipated multi-year development.

Carbon fibre and other composites are increasingly becoming the ‘go to’ solution in advanced industries such as aerospace and clean technology, with Quickstep aiming to make the production system more cost effective to deliver the product trifecta of ‘better, faster, cheaper’ and enable a wider application of composite technologies.

Quickstep’s Head of Technology and Partnerships Luke Preston said: “This collaboration brings together some of the best advanced manufacturing minds in Australia to make significant steps forward in simulation tools to deliver high quality solutions.

“It’s fantastic that we have all the research and commercialisation teams to design and manufacture innovative Advanced Air Mobility solutions all right here on the Deakin Campus”.

Quickstep own R&D efforts have established the company as a leading Tier 1 manufacturer in the commercial drone market, which is in part due to the existing advanced capabilities of the business, according to an announcement.

“Aeroline is focused on high-rate low-cost production of complex aerostructures including complete airframes.

“This builds on the recent automation programme developed by Quickstep for the production of F-35 flares for the US Department of Defence and will support future automation and productivity at the company’s Bankstown site as well as the existing Aeroline phase one setup used in drone programmes in the Geelong facility.”

The collaboration with Deakin University will utilise a combination of 3D photorealistic digital design, complex AI driven simulations and new robotic design principles aiming to mature new manufacturing technologies.

Work will be led from Quickstep’s Geelong facilities which are located on Deakin’s Waurn Ponds Campus.

Picture: Luke Preston

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