Each wing is 11m wide at the inboard end, tapering to around 3m, and is around 45m long. They are transported by sea and land as they are too big for the Airbus Beluga aircraft, a bespoke plane used to transport large components from the A380, from the nose tip to the tail wings.
During this project, Tufcoat have demonstrated adaptability to the task through meeting the requirement of ISO9001 standard to be able to carry out the work as well as building a bespoke training program for Airbus to install the covers and subsequently Kuehne + Nagel.
This standard has gone on to be a staple for the Tufcoat brand and this quality is clearly seen within the products professional finish.
Tufcoat overcame three major factors from the original solution, these were:
- Canvas covers weren’t sufficiently protecting against weather conditions, causing corrosion of titanium bolts on engine fixing blocks.
- High winds during both road and sea transport meant that full sets of covers were rarely returned intact and reordering covers was expensive and wasteful.
- Maintenance costs involving the old covers, not only the repair and replacement but also the extra shipping costs of return the sets, which hindered the Broughton plant shipping wing sets until returned, due to specific tidal requirements needed to deliver them.
The versatility of Tufcoat and the shrink wrap solution that was developed for Airbus are exhibited through not only completing such a high profile project but also a highly demanding one. The ability to deliver consistently over 8 years only goes to demonstrate the effectiveness of the product. When combined with the figures on cost-savings of over 70% annually, it continues to confirm why Airbus are one of the company’s oldest customers.
Tufcoat’s innovation has taken the process from conception to delivery and has created a process that ensures a safe, yet effective working environment which meets ISO 9001 standards. Tufcoat provide onsite training and regular visits to ensure that personnel are fully qualified to fit the covers.
This working relationship had evolved over time with this project and a complete re-training process began in 2010 implemented when Kuehne + Nagel , who deliver logistics for Airbus, were brought in on the wing cover project when Airbus needed to increase output of the A380 by freeing their trained engineers.
To date Tufcoat have produced over 100 wing kits and Airbus continues to use the solution as a key part of this production.