As the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was in production, the company detected a potential issue that needed to be resolved expeditiously to keep production on schedule. Upon further analysis, the engineering team at Boeing determined that a design built from aluminum extrusions, would provide a more than ample solution. Aluminum as a material is broadly known for its ability to conduct heat rapidly, as well as cool more rapidly, than other materials.
Boeing representatives immediately called on Minalex, a leading custom miniature aluminium extrusion manufacturer. “We have been working with Boeing since 2004, shortly after obtaining our AS9100 Certification,” commented Michael Casey, Director of Extrusion Applications & Design for Minalex. “We have a great working relationship, and we were happy to receive the call, and rise to the challenge.”
After several discussions with the Boeing team, it turned out that a relatively uncomplicated aluminum extrusion profile represented the solution. “Boeing was looking for a turnaround time of three weeks,” recalled Casey. “We were able to furnish the required part in three days,” much to the delight of the Boeing team. Although the part was a relatively basic extrusion for Minalex, it played a key role in supporting both the production schedule, and overall construction safety of the 787s.
Shortly after the parts were delivered, Boeing issued a Certificate of Achievement to Minalex in recognition of its high quality, rapid turnaround which read: ‘Boeing would like to thank the entire team at Minalex for your quick response in producing material for the 787 Battery Boxes. Minalex was able to ship this material in just three days which enabled Boeing to meet a very aggressive schedule.’
Minalex continues to work with Boeing on numerous extrusion projects each year, in addition to serving a global clientele of original equipment manufacturers servicing the aviation industry. Casey added, “We were honored and grateful to play a key role in the success of the 787, as well as other Boeing initiatives, and to carry forward what continues to be an outstanding relationship.”