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  Production Facility

Production Facility

Vermont Composites, 25 Performance Drive, Bennington, Vermont.
Production Facility Details:


Building

Kaman Composites' production, engineering, and business offices occupy an 85,000 square foot building situated on 12 acres of land in Bennington, Vermont. Significant space is available for on-site expansion.   To help maintain a healthy environment for our employees and visitors, effective March 1, 2009, Kaman Composites is a tobacco-free facility.

Training Center

Kaman Composites maintains an onsite training center for our employees. The center’s purpose is to provide ‘business focused’ training for all Kaman Composites employees. The educational opportunities provided to our employees allow us to attract, develop and retain a highly skilled workforce. The center develops and delivers courses that ensure our employees possess the skills necessary to build high quality products for our customers. In addition to manufacturing skills training, the center also coordinates external training with educational institutions, vendors and customers. This training includes: software, LEAN manufacturing, technical skills as well as soft skills and business related courses. Click to see more information on our Training Center.

Prepreg Storage

A large 20 foot x 30 foot walk-in, 0 °F freezer is used for all carbon fiber prepreg and perishable material storage.

Automated Carbon Prepreg Cutting

A high speed, computer driven prepreg cutter is used in the ply kitting area. This cutting equipment uses data from our CAD system and/or from digitized patterns and drawings for precision, high speed cutting and ply marking.

Layup

The environmentally-controlled layup room is maintained in clean room condition. All layup procedures are conducted in this area which is isolated from the main composite processing section of the plant. All molds are delivered to this area cleaned, release-coated and ready for part layup and bagging prior to removal to the main curing area.

Laser Projection System

A computer controlled laser projection system is utilized for precision control of ply location, especially on tapered or contoured parts.

Autoclave Curing

Kaman Composites' two autoclaves are equipped with state-of-the-art computer control over all process variables including heat up rate, dwell time, variable pressurization and controlled cooling. Internal dimensions are:

  • 8 feet in diameter by 35 feet long
  • 4 feet in diameter by 8 feet long
  • Operational limits, 450°F and 150 psi. (Typically 250°F and 350°F and 30 to 100 psi)

Resin Transfer Molding

Equipment is in place to heat and inject a closed cavity mold to manufacture RTM composite components. At present the process is used for room temperature cured resins and includes a mixer head to inject and mix the resin components during the injection process.

Press Molding

Electrically heated, 150 ton, twin opening, 24" x 24", 600°F.

Curing Ovens

Kaman Composites has six different ovens ranging in size from internal dimensions of 3 x 3 x 4 feet or 36 cubic feet up to 11.5 x 8 x 5.3 feet or 490 cubic feet.

  • Capable of heating up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit (Usually operated between 150 and 350 degrees).
  • Program capability to allow specified cure profiles.
  • Vacuum capabilities.
  • Chart recorder capability to track temperature on a constant basis and provide hard copy output.

CNC Machining Center

  • CNC Router: 5' x 10' x 36" five-axis machine with an eight-position tool changer, capable of complex shape part machining and machining of master shapes for tooling.
  • CNC Router: 5’ x 10’ x 12" four-axis machine with twelve position tool holder, capable of high precision routing of complex geometry.
  • CNC Router: 5' x 10' x 18" three-axis machine with a twelve-position tool changer, capable of various machining tasks including 3D contouring.
  • CNC Router: 5' x 10' x 12" three-axis machine with a six-position tool changer, capable of various machining tasks including 3D contouring.
  • Vertical CNC Machining: Mazak 60" x 28" x 30" three-axis machine with a fully programmable fourth axis and 21 tool capacity.
  • Vertical CNC Machining: Mazak 42" x 20" x 26" three-axis machine with a fully programmable fourth axis and 25 tool capacity.
  • CNC Programming: SURF-CAM®, a high-end 3D CAD-CAM package, is used to generate tool path programs. This software package enables us to accept customer-generated CAD files and generate tool paths directly from model geometry. Delcam CNC programming software greatly improves our mold making and 5-axis programming capabilities.

Pattern Making

In-house facilities for pattern making and master-mold development are available.

Core Shaping

A custom-made core profiling and shaping machine, along with pin routing equipment, is available for precise forming of structural cores. Sandwich cores can be CNC machined, profiled or pin routed to tolerances of +/- 0.010 inch. We have extensive experience with Rohacell® foam, Nomex® honeycomb, aluminum honeycomb, and other core materials.

Machine Shop

The machine shop includes two Bridgeport mills, with Acurite III digital readout, and a precision toolmaker’s lathe. We also have a Trackmill machine. Supplementing our in-house capability are local Vermont Composites-qualified machine shops with broad capability including CNC machining.

Finishing

The finishing department includes various pneumatic grinders, sanders and laminate trimming equipment. All dust-intensive operations are carried out in full-flow dust extraction booths. Kaman Composites has considerable experience with a variety of high-performance paint coatings. Painting is conducted in a modern paint booth with both heating and air filtration capability. A 12' x 20' heated drying room is adjacent to the paint booth.

Quality Assurance Laboratory

Quality Assurance is everyone's responsibility at Kaman Composites, and a quality attitude permeates everything that we do through our facility. That said, the Quality Assurance Laboratory is the focal point of our efforts. We can pull tensile, pull compressive, flex interlaminar shear, perform climbing drum peel and perform various other tests associated with validation and acceptance of part processing in the composites industry.

  • Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) - A Brown & Sharpe XCEL® 9129 is housed in a temperature controlled environment to ensure accuracy. It has a measuring range of 35.4" in the X-axis, 47.2" in the Y-Axis, and 33.5" in the Z-Axis. In addition, it uses an SPC software package to collect, store and analyze data. The CMM has Calibration Certification traceable to NIST.
  • X-Ray Inspection Equipment
  • Ultrasonic Flaw Detection Equipment "A" Scan
  • Ultrasonic Bondmaster
  • United Tensile Testing Machine
  • Portable CMM - Two FARO Arm Coordinate Measuring Machines (one Gold and one Platinum) capable of measuring within an 8 foot diameter sphere to an accuracy of +/- 0.001 inches.

CAD Solid Modeling

Kaman Composites utilizes the CATIA® Solid Works® and Unigraphics® solid modeling design software package in the design of components, assemblies and tooling. We can accept customer models in CATIA, Solid Works, Unigraphics, Step, Parasolids, IGES, DXF, ProE and AutoCAD format. Finite Element Analysis can be performed using Abaqus® FEA software package.

 
Training Center 
Quality Assurance Laboratory 
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