30 years of quality and precision at ES-Schmid
In May 1983 everything started with a consultancy contract between Claudius Dornier Jr., the former head of Dornier-Werk and the founder of ES-Schmid Engineering Service, Rainer Schmid. First, ES-Schmid Engineering Service was tasked to holistically develop the technology and avionic of Dornier’s amphibious aircraft "Dornier-Seastar".https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dornier_Seastar
The good and successful cooperation and the mutual sense of trust led to the fact that ES-Schmid Engineering Service was tasked to explore the opportunities of an automated production. This resulted in the development of a numerically controlled dosing and mixing system for 2K aeronautical resins in accordance with the aviation standard FAR23, which served as the basis for automation and quality assurance.
However, this should only be the first small step into the future of fiber composite processing, because the complete production of this large composite aircraft reached its feasibility limits. Due to the component size, there were longer lamination times, which had a negative effect on the final and quality-relevant extraction process and were difficult to control, as well as very dependent on the performance of the employees.
Finding new, viable solutions for series was crucial!
Once again, Rainer Schmid faced a new, even greater challenge and developed within only two years the first numerically controlled and patented COMATIC® fabric soaking system. With unprecedented precision and speed, even larger components made of fiber composite materials could now be manufactured without difficulty.
In 1988, one of the world's leading manufacturers of fiber-reinforced composite aircraft "GROB Aircraft" automated its production with the first COMATIC®. With the 33-meter span of the "G520T Egrett" a new milestone has been set.
In 1991, the company was transformed into ES-Schmid GmbH and developed the COMATIC® in cooperation with universities and industrial partners for the second generation, the CNC-controlled ES-Laminatic® with significantly higher performance and extended functionality.
With the introduction of the ES-Laminatic®, no component was too large. In the booming wind power industry, where rotor diameters have been growing at a rapid pace, the ES-Lamnatic® was introduced in 1993 to one of Europe's largest manufacturers of wind turbines "ENERCON". The production capacity of the GRP rotor blades was successfully multiplied within a very short time, with a significant increase in quality and a material and weight saving of 25%.
From 1994, the world-famous stunt flying planes from EXTRA-Flugzeugbau (FAR23) were also manufactured with ES-Laminatic® machines. These are still valid (at least in the air) as indestructible!
Since the restructure of Germany’s energy sector, the Energiewende, lightweight construction has become more and more important in other areas, such as the automotive industry and rail technology. Increasingly, composite materials are being used in large aircraft construction in order to save fuel and at the same time increase transport capacity.
With increasing component size and quantity, the demands on quality and short cycles as well as resilience increase. Meanwhile, several resin manufacturers have responded to these demands of the industry by developing new, faster resin systems that cure in less than 15 minutes. Halogen-free, self-extinguishing resin systems for the commercial aerospace industry according to FAR25/26 as well as for the railway industry are now available.
However, those systems need extremely precise mixing (<0.6 GT). Therefore, ES-Schmid GmbH has anticipatorily developed special, high-precision and extremely reliable matrix flow meters with <± 0.1 GT accuracy. When dosing 2K systems, the maximum deviation at <± 0.2 GT is far below the permissible deviation and is already a big step ahead of the state of the art.
Compared to the vacuum infusion process, the ES-Laminatic® technology has significant advantages in the production of high-quality sandwich components with honeycomb core, like FAR25/26 resin systems. Due to the vertical precision impregnation, the honeycomb cores will not overflow and the negative "filter effect" in resin systems with fire-retardant additives is completely eliminated.
Rainer Schmid - CEO
Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR)
FAR Part 23 - details the airworthiness standards for airplanes with a maximum take-off weight of less than 12,500 lbs., such as the Cessna 172 and Cirrus SR20.
FAR Part 25 - details the airworthiness standards for airplanes with a maximum take-off weight of 12,500 lbs. or more, such as the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320.
FAR Part 26 - Details continued airworthiness standards and safety improvements for large transport category airplanes, such as the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.