The 2019 Composites Manufacturing Award honorees received their awards during the AeroDef Manufacturing event, April 29 in Long Beach, California.
Jud Hall Composites Manufacturing Award
The J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award honors the late Judge H. Hall (1931-85) for his dedication to making the former Composites Manufacturing Association of SME (CMA/SME) an established group within the composites manufacturing industry, and for his contributions to the development of composites technology. Hall was issued U.S. Patent 3962394 — “Method for molding fiber reinforced composite tube” in June 1976. Previously, he was a member of the technical staff, TRW Inc., Redondo Beach, California, and chair of the former CMA/SME.
The award is presented annually to an individual who has contributed to the composites manufacturing or tooling technology through leadership, technical developments, patents or educational activities. It recognizes excellence in the development or improvement of processes, tooling and applications, as well as achievements in composites research, education and technology transfer. The J.H. “Jud” Hall Composites Manufacturing Award celebrates innovation in solving issues related to production and applications development, and acknowledges significant contributions that reduce costs and waste streams, and improves quality and efficiency.
Douglas D. Decker, technical fellow, Northrop Grumman Corp., is the recipient of the 2019 J.H. “Jud” Hall Award. He was recognized for his distinguished career in aerospace spanning over 35 years. Decker currently leads the Northrop Grumman Enterprise composites team that is developing and demonstrating a significant and novel approach to the design, fabrication and assembly of composite aircraft structures that has the potential of reducing nonrecurring tooling costs by up to 80%.
“Collaboration between our government, industry and research institutions will increase our global manufacturing competitiveness in the rapidly growing use of advanced composites,” said Decker. “We must remain committed to strengthening industry integration, while focusing on developing lower-cost, higher-speed and more-efficient manufacturing processes for advanced composite materials.”
Decker’s work has been used in the fabrication of Northrop Grumman proprietary aircraft programs and will be soon be paying significant cost, schedule and performance benefits in future Department of Defense programs. He works closely with the academic community in advanced composite materials and process improvements and is currently serving as an industry intermediary between the University of Southern California, California State University Long Beach and Cerritos Community College in obtaining training resources and support from composite material suppliers.
Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Awards
In recognition of the valuable contributions within the composites manufacturing industry, the Composites Manufacturing Tech Group, which is part of SME’s Plastics, Composites & Coatings Community, developed two technical awards to acknowledge the valuable roles that both large and small manufacturers play within the industry.
The awards are presented annually to one large company and one small company that have demonstrated “excellence in the field of advanced composites manufacturing.” These are international awards, and the competition is open and unrestricted to all companies that manufacture products from advanced composite materials. These annual awards recognize those companies that have demonstrated dedication and ongoing contribution to further advance the design and development of technology used in the manufacturing of advanced composites.
Each award showcases those companies that have excelled in manufacturing products made from advanced composite materials. That excellence includes developing an innovative way via tooling and/or manufacturing process techniques, which will help manufacture future products made from these materials; or have shown accelerated growth by providing superior service, quality or cost reduction initiatives. The award recipients will have demonstrated all of the initiatives that have helped advance the overall composite manufacturing industry.
MTorres was recognized with the 2019 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Small Company) for its distinction in the field of advanced composites manufacturing. For over two decades, the company has been a preferred supplier of composite manufacturing tooling, automation and equipment to the world’s leading commercial and military aircraft and wind-turbine-blade manufacturers. MTorres’ composites manufacturing and assembly technologies are used globally to produce over 20 commercial aircrafts, eight military aircrafts and seven helicopters, including a system used in the production of the composites-horizontal-stabilizer components for the 787-9 Dreamliner.
Northrop Grumman was recognized with the 2019 Excellence in Composites Manufacturing Award (Large Company) for its distinction in the field of advanced composites manufacturing. Northrop’s advanced manufacturing composites aerospace and space composites portfolio has been expanded to include the latest breakout technologies that are changing the very basis of composites manufacturing to include large- structure, adhesive-bonded, out-of-autoclave aerostructures.