Quintus Technologies
2 Quintus Piper 1540
2 Quintus Piper 1540
2 Quintus Piper 1540
2 Quintus Piper 1540
2 Quintus Piper 1540

Piper Aircraft Adds Hydroforming Technology

March 11, 2020
Quintus' Flexform fluid-forming line performs high-speed forming for thousands of different components, without intermediate heat treatment or manual pre- and post-forming operations.

Piper Aircraft Inc. recently installed a Quintus Technologies Flexform™ high-pressure fluid-forming press at its plant in Vero Beach, FL, addressing growing demand for training aircraft. Piper manufactures single- and twin-engine aircraft for businesses and individuals.

“Piper is the only aircraft manufacturer that offers a complete lineup of training aircraft, and with a global pilot shortage we have seen a resulting increase in demand for our training products. With this in mind, it is paramount that we have modern, reliable, and cost-efficient equipment to help us meet the increase in our production,” stated James Funk, Piper’s chief operating officer. “With its capacity and ease of use, the new Quintus press is helping us manage our growth while controlling costs and improving quality.”

Fluid cell forming is a hydroforming technology in which parts are formed over a single tool, using the downward force of a pressurized diaphragm. Sheet material is placed atop a stationary form block, which rests unsecured on the lower platen or working surface. The diaphragm is pressurized with hydraulic fluid, expanding as it exerts equal pressure on every point within the chamber.

The Flexform process uses a single rigid tool half in conjunction with a flexible rubber diaphragm under uniform, high hydrostatic pressure. This reduces tool costs and speeds tool production, especially for highly detailed components.

The Quintus QFC 0.7x1.8-800 fluid cell press applies flexible forming to produce parts for the entire Piper line of eight aircraft models, including thousands of part numbers, many with complex geometries or free-form surfaces. The high forming pressure — 800 bar (11,600 psi) — ensures close-tolerance parts direct from the press.

The press has work area of 27.6x73 in. (700x1800 mm), offering production efficiencies by eliminating forming operations, intermediate heat treatments, and manual pre- and post-forming operations.

“We believe the ability to combine a higher level of forming die design with modern high pressure forming technologies will provide substantial time and cost savings as Piper ramps up its production,” stated Ed Williams, Quintus Technologies' general manager, Americas.