Case Studies

Marshall Aerospace Composite Curing

Marshalls Aerospace needed rapid heat up combined with precise temperature control to use in their composite curing ovens. Secomak’s Heat Pack delivered 300 °C of heat with extreme accuracy.

The Customer

Marshalls Aerospace and Defence Group are a business and service provider to a range of customers in military and commercial markets in the air, land and sea domains.

The 1,700 employees work to design, manufacture, test and certify end-to-end solutions. Marshall’s advanced composite manufacturing techniques allow them to create anything from a bespoke designed one-off item to a line of customer-design products, using the latest composite materials.

Their specialist knowledge of smart materials allows them to lower cost, reduce weight, create superior aerodynamics, and optimise radio frequency (RF) performance.

The Challenge

The customer has several industrial ovens for composite curing. With often complex shapes and components of high value, the customer needed a solution that offered both a quick heating time and precision point accuracy when it comes to temperature control.

The customer has ovens of various shapes and sizes and rarely manufacture the same component back-to-back.

This meant that flexibility was key.

The system needed to scale easily, providing additional heat where the process demanded. It was also required to be mobile, making it easy for the user to move between ovens.

The Solution

Marshall’s project requirement for precision heating control, meant Secomak included our most sophisticated control system ever!

The heater and blower items used in this Heat Pack are:

  • Model 648 Heater 18 kW Output
  • Model DD643 Direct Drive Fan
  • HMI Control Station (Human Machine Interface)
    • Includes blower inverter controls and solid-state relay heater controls

This solution can provide up to an impressive 300 °C of heat at the outlet, combined with up to 23 mbar of pressure and 2,200 m3/hr of volume.

The 18 kW heater was controlled with three separate 6 kW solid-state relays, together with a PID temperature control (Proportional, Integral and Derivative). This meant the output temperature was highly accurate to less than ± 1% and ensured superb energy efficiency.

The system allowed for up to 16 temperature probes, with the customer able to set high and low temperature thresholds for all 16 individual target zones. The alarms can be sent remotely to ensure the process never exceeds the set temperature.

Every control input was achieved through a simple-to-navigate HMI (Human Machine Interface) to minimise set up time and reduce the risk of operational error.

It was also designed with future expansion in mind, using a ‘master and slave’ operation. This functionality allows for up to three further 18 kW Heat Packs to be added and controlled by the single HMI.

The Benefits

Supplying clean, dry, hot air, the Heat Pack delivers an extremely efficient and consistent hot air solution.

Powerful and capable 300 °C of heat at the outlet, the Heat Pack is remarkably compact, producing airflow on a par with other much larger solutions.

The three 6 kW solid-state relays, combined with the PID temperature control delivered an incredibly accurate output temperature, within ± 1% to the desired level. This gives confidence to the user, even if the job if complex or requires a very particular temperature to succeed.

The 16 individual temperature zones increase this accuracy further, allowing more accurate control of high and low temperature thresholds. An alarm that alerts the user to the temperature moving outside of these parameters removes the risk of failure, even allowing alarms to be sent remotely to the user, such as if they are away from the site.

It was delivered pre-mounted on its base support with all adaptors included as necessary, creating a simple plug and play solution requiring only power to start operation, reducing setup time. Optional braked castors and an adjustable height handle were specified for this application, enabling the portability that was essential to meet the customer’s needs.

Secomak’s Direct Drive Fan technology ensures outstanding reliability, with zero maintenance required, eliminating downtime, and making sure production is never interrupted. The DD643 Direct Drive Fan unit uses a modern IE3 motor, for excellent efficiency, particularly when used for a long period continuously.

Safe and simple to install, the Heat Pack fully complies with CE, EMC & Low Voltage Approvals, to install to any project with ease.

For more information on the Secomak Heat Pack, or any of our other Fans or Heaters, contact us today.

Related products

You may also be interested in: