SME's Composites Manufacturing Tech Group Recognizes Leaders in Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing

May 18 2020

SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, along with its Composites Manufacturing Tech Group, recognized an industry leader and two prominent composites manufacturing companies with 2020 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Awards.

2020 J.H. "Jud" Hall Composites Manufacturing Award: Kurtis Willden, technical fellow, The Boeing Co., is the recipient of the 2020 J.H. "Jud" Hall Composites Manufacturing Award. He was recognized for his successes in the development and implementation of processes and equipment for large-composite aerospace structures. Willden is a highly skilled engineer and innovator whose ideas are used in production, saving tens of millions of dollars annually and millions of dollars in nonrecurring cost avoidance in the last 10 years at Boeing.
2020 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Small and Large Company): Aligned Vision received the 2020 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Small Company) for their instrumental achievements in bringing digital technologies to the composites industry.

The company's technologies simultaneously accelerate fabrication rates and raise component quality, while generating as-built information that lets fabricators know how well the finished component matches the digital design. Aligned Vision utilizes 3D-laser projection for guidance of "light templates" in the composite manufacturing layup process, replacing physical mylar or fiberglass templates and reducing layup time by a reported 85%.

The Boeing Co. received the 2020 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Large Company) for innovative tooling and manufacture of its 777X aircraft, which incorporates the longest, single-piece composite wing spar. Due, in part, to the composite wing, the 777X will allow airplanes to carry more people more efficiently and in exceptional comfort. The composite wing spar is the latest milestone in a decade of development, design and build of this innovative airplane family and its production system.

The Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Awards, which traditionally are given at SME's annual AeroDef Manufacturing event, is being presented independently in 2020.

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