14.11.2010 - Applus+, the leading Spanish multinational in testing, inspection, certification and technological services and one of the ten largest worldwide, has received the NADCAP accreditation (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program), a highly prestigious and exclusive acknowledgement in aeronautics sector that accredits the company’s technical competence as a mechanical and climate testing laboratory of composite materials. Actually composites are becoming increasingly important in the development of aircrafts because of their contribution to higher energy efficiency levels and fuel saving. As a result, Applus+ becomes the only Spanish company holding this accreditation, awarded only to four other laboratories in Europe and to ten more firms around the world. The Spanish multinational also has received the accreditation for metallic materials testing.
NADCAP accreditations constitute a distinction of technical competence and reliability to provide products and services in the aeronautical sector. The Performance Review Institute (PRI), the body that awards such accreditations, is made up of the major aircraft manufacturers, such as Airbus, Boeing or GE Aviation, and its aim is developing programs and services designed to improve the product manufacturing and quality processes within the aerospace industry. The PRI ensures an unbiased assessment of products and services, as well as the competence, capacity and coherence of suppliers.
The importance of composites in aeronautics
The use of composite materials in aeronautics brings great benefits to the development of aircrafts. CFRP (Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymer) composites are an example of these materials. They combine resins and carbon fibers’ properties -resistance and lightness- to reduce the weight of pieces and generate a saving in fuel, leading to higher energy efficiency. The current trend in the sector consists in replacing metallic materials with these new composites, which, according to estimates, are used to create more than 50% of aircraft components.
Although Applus+ had already been given the official approval to work with such major customers of the aeronautical sector as Airbus, there is an independent body now accrediting the technical competence of Applus+ regarding composite materials. Therefore, NadCap accreditation enables Applus+ to reinforce its acknowledgement in the market as well as its prestige and the guarantees offered to their potential customers.
Strengthening the company’s strategy in the aerospace sector
Gaining NadCap accreditation is a major step forward for Applus+ in keeping with its pledge to grow in the aerospace sector, a sector in which the company has been working since the 90s. Over the last year Applus+, a provider of solutions for the aeronautical sector in countries like Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands which also explores opportunities in this sector in several emergent economies like China, India and Morocco, has trebled its turnover from activities in this field. The company employs around 50 experts who are working exclusively on this industry, developing projects for international prestigious companies such as Airbus, Airbus Military, Aeronova, Rolls Royce, ITP or Safran Group.
Applus+ activities in the aerospace sector are developed in terms of mechanics and engineering (through the company Abac, acquired in 2009) and also at the laboratory of CFRP (Carbon Fiber- Reinforced Polymer). Its main services include: structural validation of air structures, materials certification, testing of on-board equipment, and design and improvement of manufacturing processes. Nowadays, Applus+ is working on 16 projects for the mechanical sector.
The company has positive outlooks in the aerospace business thanks to a twin-track growth strategy. On the one hand, Applus+ is accessing to international markets with an emerging air sector, like China. On the other hand, the company has redoubled its portfolio of services intended to cover other areas in the sector, particularly in terms of space activities and motor manufacturing.