Austria’s Hilitech (Booth V115), the joint venture linking interiors and composite materials specialists F/List and the Hintsteiner Group, respectively, is highlighting at EBACE 2019 lightweight cabin components and systems. The company arrives in Geneva on the heels of opening a new production plant last month in its Kindberg home.
With more than 20,000 sq ft in its initial phase, the facility is expected to have 100 professionals on staff by year-end, manufacturing components ranging from sliding doors, tables, toilet seats, and shower trays to full cabinet systems such as galleys, wardrobes, stowage compartments, and lavatories. Hilitech also offers exposed panel components incorporating laminar to multidimensional application of exposed carbon-fiber as a decorative surface.
Proprietary production methods and a unique blend of materials produce parts 15 to 25 percent lighter than those made with conventional production techniques, according to Hilitech. The blend of composite materials is customized for each application, rarely re-using its patented solutions.
“Our aim, to put it simply, is to offer the lightest cabin systems on the market,” the company said. The technology innovations are driven by “understanding what our customers need and providing answers to questions that haven’t even been asked yet.”
The state-of-the-art plant’s production infrastructure includes autoclave-/prepreg technology, vacuum processes, compression molding, wet-laminate technology, rapid prototyping, CNC milling, prepreg cutter, and 3D scanning. The new facility will support variable manufacturing processes, allowing quick production of components for multiple areas of application. For maximum precision and flexibility, Hilitech produces all its tooling in-house whether for one-off or serial production. The components, benefitting from high-quality veneer processing and high-gloss finishes by and through F/List, are delivered as complete and tested interior solutions.
Hilitech also has an in-house structural testing facility with life-cycle and acoustics testing capabilities; in-house DO-160 temperature and humidity testing; and an Austro Control-approved fire laboratory. Development services including technical design and planning; load-bearing optimization via calculation and simulation; stress engineering; and certification support are also available.
In conjunction with the plant opening, celebrated with a gala ceremony and ribbon cutting, Hilitech announced launching an apprentice training program for model makers, “to build up and retain know-how and experts for the long term.” The skill, the company said, "is a multifaceted craft, which can be a starting point for an exciting and challenging career with many-fold development possibilities.”