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Quickstep Selects FiberSIM for Joint Strike Fighter

12 December 2010

Quickstep Technologies will be using FiberSIM software for manufacturing a variety of composite parts for the newest generation of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the F-35 Lightning II.

Quickstep recently signed a more than $700 million Memorandum of Understanding with Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to build key components for the Joint Strike Fighter. Quickstep is using FiberSIM to manufacture the largest and most complex parts they have produced to date, including lower side skins, maintenance access panels, the F2 fuel tank cover, and the lower skin and in-board weapons bay doors. The software will be used to simulate material draping, define flat patterns, and generate data to drive its laser projection system.

Quickstep offers composite materials engineering, advanced composite manufacturing, and plant solutions for the manufacture of advanced composite components. The company was founded in 2001 to commercialize the Quickstep Process,' a fluid-based curing technology designed to reduce the cost and time involved in the production of composites compared with conventional autoclave curing techniques.

The manual process that Quickstep Technologies used previously only worked for parts with simpler geometry. For the more complex partssuch as the ones for the JSFa more sophisticated methodology was required to accurately define, manage, drape and output ply data.

Working with composites is extremely time-consuming and tedious, said Michael Kaeferboeck, manager of production engineering for Quickstep. By adopting FiberSIM, we anticipate being able to automate non-value added tasks to achieve significant productivity gains, improve overall part quality and repeatability, and increase our throughput. VISTAGY is a pioneer in composites engineering for aerospace and that experience is reflected in FiberSIMs capabilities.

Were pleased to be working with one of the leading suppliers in the aerospace industry, said Steve Peck, VISTAGYs director of product and market strategy for aerostructures. Delivering best possible composite parts on-time and on-budget is Quicksteps primary goal, and we look forward to working with them to meet that objective.





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