Mobile, Lightweight Helicopter Work Platforms

24 February 2017

A contract secured by KUKA Systems Aerospace Group to develop the manufaturing facility for a high-profile helicopter included requirements for a series of work platforms designed to interface precisely with the helicopter and tooling at various stages of production.

“Before this project, we didn’t have a need for a modular, portable work stand,” says Rick Zaitonia, project manager for KUKA Systems.“We were using large steel work platforms, fixed in place, at a fixed height, which we designed and built in-house.”

It wasn’t until the helicopter program that KUKA needed to use the same work stands at different heights. Cataloged work platforms were available, but KUKA needed something custom-designed. Most standard work platforms were steel and fixed in place, while KUKA needed lightweight, mobile platforms. KUKA had the design capability to build the work platforms they needed, but the project involved coordinating and implementing more than 600 tools, and they needed to use their resources wisely.

“Instead of having to come up with custom designs for work platforms, we could go to the experts that already had the designs,” Zaitonia says. “We had a complex, large program, and it freed up our resources to let the experts handle that portion and let us specialize in what we’re good at.”

They researched potential suppliers and performed site visits to ensure the companies could meet the requirements of the project, ultimately, selecting Spika Design and Manufacturing for all the platforms required in the manufacturing line.

“Spika has the production capabilities to take care of volumes, quality control systems in place to put out a good product, and a management team to help us with the designs for different manufacturing facilities,” Zaitonia says.

Read full article at Aerospace Manufacturing and Design Magazine:

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