Benefits from plastics engineering

From the aerospace sector to household appliances

Parallelism between simulated backrest executed by Meccanica Generale with the real aircraft backrest.

Thanks to the manifold experiences gained in different sectors, Meccanica Generale has developed and patented a plane backrest, then become mass-production. Competences and adopted technical solutions that can prove valid and promising for new applications in the household appliance sector.

The global current scenario, inherent to the sector of injection moulded thermoplastic materials, finally deals also with the aerospace ambit as very lively player. This sector, increasingly oriented to the weight reduction of each aircraft component with a parallel focus on cost (reduction without any possible compromise in terms of safety and extreme technical requisites), is implementing industrial solutions that are opening new frontiers to thermoplastic materials.

Meccanica Generale, a world-company in product engineering and manufacturing of injection moulds for plastic components operating on a world scale, some years ago started the pre-feasibility assessments of a new project for the aerospace seat of one of the major world producers in this ambit. A project conceived with the precise aim of achieving a product weight reduction and relative decrease of the manufacturing cost.

«Suiting the requests of a very demanding sector like civil aeronautics – explains Paolo Malatesta, Sales Manager – transferring the right mentality for the correct use of technologies and materials to customers was a fundamental step of the starting design phase».

From prototype to mass production

The team of Meccanica Generale, thanks to several experiences gained in other sectors such as automotive, household appliances and medical, has designed the new component in full synergy with the customer’s team, spread in USA and North Ireland.

«We are honoured – underlines Malatesta – to think that in Jesi we have developed, patented and, for 12 months, mass-produced the backrest for all new Economy Class planes by Boeing».

To identify the best material, Meccanica Generale has made a small prototype mould where to carry out the various tests for the determination of the plastic material.

Meccanica Generale has implemented a prototype for tests, in order to determine the component properties once moulded, complying with the severe sector regulations, like for instance very high loads of the structure, the lowest possible weight and non-flammability. Thorough structural and fluid-dynamic calculations, together with simulations of the moulding process, have allowed accomplishing a continuous high-quality process for a complex component like the one at stake.

«The backrest – adds Malatesta – is composed by PEEK with the addition of 30% of carbon fibre and it is one of the biggest components on trade ever implemented with this super-technopolymer».

The design success was characterized by the strong spirit of integration among product design, technology of the chosen process and determination of the correct plastic materials.

«We are speaking of the same “modus operandi” – ends Malatesta – applied effectively also in the other sectors where our company operates. The technical solutions identified prove in fact valid and very promising for new applications in the household appliance industry, pioneering sector of Meccanica Generale, where there are still wide innovation possibilities. Innovating also exceeding the conventional product visions and applying an increasingly platform-oriented engineering».

Therefore, the made in Italy confirms to be the breeding ground for new products designed in up-to-date and competitive way, always topical issues in the global industrial context.