Korean Composites Takes Control of Material Handling
The largest composite manufacturer in South Korea is maximising control of sensitive composites with an electric tug from MasterMover. The MasterTug enables a single operator to safely load and unload composites from an autoclave, maximising safety and delivering the controlled movement of sensitive materials.
Korean Composites Inc (KCI) supplies the aerospace and defence industry worldwide. A specialist in manufacturing composite aircraft parts, KCI supplies parts for use at Airbus and Boeing, specifically for the A350 and B787 aircraft.
KCI contacted MasterMover’s partner in the region, Sung Won Co., Ltd as they were looking for a handling solution for the movement of composite materials. The machine would be required to push the load into the autoclave and then pull it out to unload.
What is an autoclave?
Industrial autoclaves are pressure vessels used to process parts and materials that require high pressure and temperature. This process allows components to be lightweight but incredibly strong, perfectly designed for the extreme environments aircraft are often exposed to.
The Problem - Unloading & Loading Autoclaves
KCI was previously using another brand of electric tug. The electric tug was able to push the load into the autoclave fairly successfully, but issues arose when engineers tried to unload the autoclave and pull the trolley out. When pulling the load, the machine wheels were spinning, trying to gain traction. This was causing both the machine and the 6,000kg load to dangerously sway from side to side, causing damage to the sensitive composites. Engineers were having to use physical force to steady both the machine and the load.
For a machine that was implemented to improve safety within the facility, the results were quite the opposite. The actual effects were an increased risk of accidents and frustrated staff who were put at risk of serious injury. From an efficiency perspective, the process was taking operators nearly 3 times as long to unload the autoclave as it was to load it. An unnecessary amount of time was being wasted on a simple operation, taking staff away from more productive tasks.
The Solution - Total Control with Aerospace Material Handling Tugs
Our local partner based in Cheonan City has been providing MasterMover’s innovative pedestrian electric tug solutions to companies in South Korea since 2015. Tony Lee owner of Sung Won Co., Ltd carried out a full site evaluation at KCI’s facility in Sacheon.
After discussions with MasterMover, it was determined that an MT600+ was the most suitable solution for this application. As part of MasterMover’s MasterTug range, the MT600+ utilises the principle of weight transfer, allowing it to move loads of up to 6,000kg with ease. With sufficient power and traction, the MT600+ is able to safely load and unload the autoclave without the difficulties previously experienced. This in turn, saves time, allowing highly skilled staff to focus on more productive tasks. The smooth movement also reduces the risk of damage to high-value components by ensuring the load is in constant contact with the ground and moved in a smooth, controlled manner.
Saving time and minimising the risk of injury allows highly trained members of staff to concentrate on more productive tasks. As there is much more control over the movement, the potential for damage to high-value components has been reduced.Renee Ooi, Regional Manager AsiaMasterMover
Aerospace manufacturers using industrial autoclaves need material handling solutions that deliver safety and ensure loads are moved with total control. When moving high-value, sensitive components in aerospace manufacturing, it's crucial that any solution is fit for purpose and assessed alongside your application. With 25+ years of experience working within aerospace manufacturing, our aerospace customers trust us to deliver safe and dependable material handling solutions.