Hexcel Opens Prepreg Plant Extension in Stade, Germany
Hexcel has today officially opened an extension to its prepreg facility in Stade, Germany – a development that will increase plant capacity in order to support increasing build rates for the Airbus A350 XWB and legacy programmes.
At Stade, Hexcel manufactures HexPly® prepreg tape using Hexcel’s HexTow® carbon fibre. Prepregs are fibre-reinforcements that have been pre-impregnated with a resin formulation and are cured using heat and pressure. The resulting laminates are exceptionally strong and tough, yet considerably lighter than aluminium. Over 50% of the Airbus A350 XWB structure is made from composites and Hexcel was awarded the contract to supply all of the prepregs for the A350 XWB primary structures, including the fuselage panels that are manufactured by the neighbouring Airbus Germany plant and Airbus subcontractors in Europe.
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Hexcel first established a manufacturing base in Stade in 2007 and the first prepreg line was commissioned in 2008. Further expansion is planned at the site including the installation of Web Industries slitting operation that is to be co-located in Hexcel’s Stade plant (as announced on 20th March).
A special ceremony in the new building was attended today by Hexcel President, Nick Stanage; Rafael Gonzalez-Ripoll, Head of the Airbus Centre of Excellence for Empennage & Rear Fuselage; and the Major of Stade City, Mrs Silvia Nieber.
Commenting at the Ceremony Hexcel President Nick Stanage said: “By extending Hexcel’s facility at Stade we are fulfilling our vision and honouring our commitment to support the growth of our partner Airbus. We wish to thank our customers, the local community and all those who have supported us in establishing a world class prepreg tape facility here in Germany.”
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Source : Hexcel Corporation